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Virginia Tech shooter a Korean student: report

MARMOT’S NOTE: Just in case I haven’t made this perfectly clear—and I believe I have down below, but just in case—the fact that the shooter is Korean is, ultimately, irrelevant. He was a sick kid. Period. You can talk try to read into this tragedy cultural factors all you like (and I’m afraid that’s going to happen both in the United States and here in Korea), but the fact remains that there are 100,000 Korean students in the United States, not to mention about 1 million Korean-Americans, many of whom share the same cultural background as the shooter, and NONE of them have shot up their schools. The overwhelming majority, in fact, are upstanding members of their academic and residential communities. Cho Seung-hui is about as representative of the Korean community as the Columbine shooters were of the white community, that is to say, he’s not. In fact, if there is any group that seems “predisposed” to this sort of violence in the United States, it’s not foreign Asian students, it’s white males.

ORIGINAL POST: I don’t want to spread unconfirmed rumors, but seeing how the government is doing the leaking now, you might as well read it here—NoCut News, citing a diplomatic source, is reporting that the Korean embassy in Washington has told the Foreign Ministry that the shooter at Virginia Tech was a Korean student [NoCut News, Korean], and that it has asked the ministry to provide more details about him.

I’d prefer to wait until an official announcement before deciding to believe it or not.

UPDATE: Now the WaPo is saying federal and local officials are saying the shooter was “of Korean descent.”

UPDATE 2: The NYT is now reporting a name—Cho Seung-hui.

UPDATE 3: Now this from ABC (BTW, thanks to the commenters):

Seung Hui Cho, a permanent resident of the United States, a Korean national and a Virginia Tech student has been identified as the gunman in the shootings that left 33 people dead on the Virginia Tech campus Monday, ABC News has learned.

The student left a “disturbing note” before killing two people in a dorm room, returning to his own room to re-arm and entering a classroom building on the other side of campus to continue his rampage, sources said.

And this just in—Yonhap (Korean) is reporting that the shooter was Cho Seung-hui, a 23-year-old student of Korean ethnicity in the English lit department.

UPDATE 4: NoCut News is reporting that Korean students in the United States—and there are a lot of them [NACAC]—are in shock [NoCut News, Korean] after learning that the perpetrator of the worst school shooting in U.S. history was a Korean. Naturally enough, they are also worried about the repercussions this might have on them. At Virginia Tech alone, there are 160 Korean grad students and some 300 undergrads.

Korean authorities, meanwhile, are worried that the incident might cause diplomatic problems with the United States, and are concerned for the security of Koreans in the United States. In particular, NoCut News reports, Korean diplomatic authorities are worried that the incident will not only throw cold water on recently improving relations with Washington since the signing of the KORUS FTA, but also damage the international image of Koreans.

UPDATE 5: This, from the Metropolitician:

I’d been waiting for it.

The shooter is South Korean.

I’d been suspecting it all day, for a lot of reasons, which is why I was sitting by the computer. Not the least of which was because a group of American university administrators whom Fulbright hosted nearly 10 years ago, when being a tour of Korean universities, asked the staff, “Why is it that out of all our international students, Korean males have so much trouble?”

To my surprise, all of the university officials cited incident after incident of Korean male graduate students who seemed to have trouble adjusting, often got into fights with other students in the living spaces, and were often the source of trouble in dealing with romantic relationships gone bad or women in general, especially when they involved Korean females dating non-Koreans.

Anyway, my little bit of uninformed analysis will be just the beginning. I’m sure we’ll see all sorts of explanations from the Korean media. And for what it’s worth, perhaps now the South Korean media and people will be faced with the question of stereotyping, media, and how treating individual incidents as evidence of various “national characters” leads down roads we don’t want to travel.

All in all, a tragic story. But the conversation will prove…interesting, I’m sure.

Let the shitstorm – and social experiment – begin.

UPDATE 6: Cho had been living in the United States since the age of 3 [IHT]. He was a permanent resident, but still a Korean citizen.

UPDATE 7: I should also point out that at least one of the injured was a Korean [Marmot's Hole], and Yonhap (Korean) is reporting that one of the dead might be a Korean (or at least ethnic Korean) as well.

I hate to go into motives, but since Michael alluded to the problem above, and other commenters [Foreign Dispatches] are already touching the theme, I should point out—before we go to far with the “Angry Korean Man pissed off that his Korean girlfriend was banging whity” meme—that the girl killed in the dorm (whom, I’ve been led to believe from reports, was the girlfriend he quarreled with) had a very non-Asian name. I’m going to wait before I start proposing any theories as to why what happened happened. Until I see proof otherwise, I’m going to avoid explaining this tragedy culturally. He could have very well simply been a fucked-up kid with a gun. Can’t get any more American than that.

UPDATE 8: Again, to demonstrate my point above [This is London]. Of course, the relationships have yet to be confirmed.

UPDATE 9: Cho is being described as a loner [Yonhap, Korean]—his seeming lack of friends is making it difficult for investigators to ascertain his motive. A Virginia Tech spokesman described him as “a loner,” and Korean students at the school say he hardly came to Korean student gatherings. In fact, they say they didn’t really know who he was.

UPDATE 10: The Chosun Ilbo (Korean) reports on the “netizen response,” or at least how it sees it. The general tone is disbelief. One netizen quoted by the paper said, “The name is similar to a Chinese one, so let’s wait until the final police announcement. Another said, “I’m so surprised that a Korean could do something so cruel I don’t believe it… I wonder if the investigation results are mistaken, so we have to keep watching.”

Korean netizens in the United States, meanwhile, are concerned that this may adversely affect Korean students in the country. One even said he was afraid to go to school tomorrow. Another said that just as all Middle Easterners were disadvantaged after Sept 11, the image of Koreans would take a massive hit as a result of the incident. One netizens said he feared for the safety of Koreans studying in the United States, and expressed concern about the possibility of a U.S. boycott of Korean goods.

Netizens preparing to study in the United States were also concerned. One wrote that visa requirements for students would grow even stricter, while another worried that the incident would affect Korea’s efforts to get into the U.S. visa waiver program.

UPDATE 11: NoCut News (Korean) is a bit, well, saddened by the headlines of much of the world press. Not that it’s complaining—it’s more ashamed if anything. The Korean press shouldn’t expect a ton of sympathy on this issue, however—we needn’t go back and look at the headlines Korean papers have run each and every time a foreigner f*cks up in this country.

UPDATE 12: Yonhap News (Korean) talks about the inability of many Koreans who immigrate abroad to study at a young age to adjust due to linguistic and cultural differences. According to one Korean who spent his middle and high school years abroad, they receive a lot of stress in overcoming the language barrier so they don’t fall behind in school, and some of them end up fighting a lot and doing drugs. Meanwhile, of those busted in Korea for smuggling and using drugs, Koreans who studied at U.S. universities and Korean-American university students are overrepresented vis-a-vis Korean university students. Others point out, however, that one shouldn’t generalize. Jo Yeong-dal, the dean of Seoul National University Law School, said shooter Cho had been in the United States since the second grade, i.e., he spent his developmental years and socialization years in the country, and that he might have had family problems. He added, however, that despite it being a multicultural society, the United States is still primarily a white society, and Cho might have had an inferiority complex that manifested itself in a hate for white people. Korea should learn a lesson from this, he said, and begin preparing for its transformation into a multicultural society.

Marmot’s Note: Like I said, until I see something different, I don’t want to make this a cultural/social issue. There are 100,000 Koreans studying in the United States, and except for Cho, none of them—as far as I know—have shot up their schools.

UPDATE 13: The Chicago Tribune talks a little bit about the note Cho left behind:

The suspected gunman in the Virginia Tech shooting rampage, Cho Seung-Hui, was a troubled 23-year-old senior from South Korea who investigators believe left an invective-filled note in his dorm room, sources say.

The note included a rambling list of grievances, according to sources. They said Cho also died with the words “Ismail Ax” in red ink on the inside of one of his arms.

Cho had shown recent signs of violent, aberrant behavior, according to an investigative source, including setting a fire in a dorm room and allegedly stalking some women.

A note believed to have been written by Cho was found in his dorm room that railed against “rich kids,” “debauchery” and “deceitful charlatans” on campus.

We’ll no doubt learn more in the coming days.

UPDATE 14: Over at Salon, Andrew Leonard posts some excellent advice:

Another fact provided by the Marmot’s Hole (Hey, that’s me!): According to one report, Korea has more students studying abroad in the U.S. than any other country: 100,000. Debbie Schlussel thinks that the foreign residency of Cho Seung-hui is “yet another reason to stop letting in so many foreign students.” But 99.999 percent of those 100,000 Koreans somehow managed not to engage in mass killing sprees. My advice to the Korean blogosphere — despite all the cultural hypothesizing that is about to swarm the mediasphere — is to strive to stay calm. Jealous rage knows no borders.

As I note in his comment section, however, the cultural hypothesizing won’t be limited to the United States, unfortunately—there will be plenty of that going on over here, too, both in the self-critical way (i.e., the stress on young children sent abroad to study at a young age) and in a not-so-self-critical way (i.e., See, another Korean corrupted by the evil ways of the West and/or White racism made him do it).

UPDATE 15: As you’d might expect, Michael has a monster post up at Metropolitician. Go read it.

UPDATE 16: Korean President Roh Moo-hyun and Foreign Minister Song Min-soon have offered their condolences to the American people.

UPDATE 17: YTN (Korean) reports that one of the dead, a female university student, was half-Korean and born in Korea. Condolences to her family and to all the families who lost loved ones in yesterday’s tragedy.

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  • http://www.japanprobe.com James

    Oh man, if this is true, the Japanese netizen reaction is going to be wild.

  • rowan

    korean embassy is seoul?

  • Haisan

    Cho Seung-hui, says the NYT.

  • Haisan

    Cho Seung-hui, says the NYT:
    thelede.blogs.nytimes.com/2007/04/17/virginia-tech-shootings-the-day-after

  • MestreGrotti

    New York Times has his name as Seung-Hui Cho, according to federal law enforcement authorities.

  • Haisan

    Sorry, bad link. here.

  • http://www.dprkstudies.org/ Richardson

    There is some irony in that, if true. I’m sure we’ll see some sites comparing the number of GIs who’ve killed Koreans, and now Koreans who’ve killed Americans.

  • ….

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  • Paul H.

    MSNBC scroll says shooter was “23 year old Korean, permanent legal resident”. VA Tech University press conference starting now.

  • http://www.dprkstudies.org/ Richardson

    “Seung Hui Cho, a permanent resident of the United States, a Korean national and a Virginia Tech student has been identified as the gunman in the shootings that left 33 people dead…”

    http://abcnews.go.com/US/story?id=3048108

  • cm

    I can see the Korean and Japanese blogsphere lighting up.

  • judge judy

    confirmed.

  • http://rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler

    I can see the Korean and Japanese blogsphere lighting up.

    Yes, I’m afraid this could get ugly. It must be like an early Christmas at 2ch.

  • Sonagi

    Thankfully, no commenter at the NYT has made reference to the killer’s nationality, but if the Yahoo boards were still up, there’d be a slurfest.

  • http://usinkorea.org/blog1 usinkorea

    I think my last post got eaten…

    I am a little happy at how at least the patches of the expat K-blogsphere I woddle into haven’t gone the way mud-slinging fighting fire-with-fire by taking the opportunity of this tragedy to strike back after so many barrages of GI taxi cab stories year-to-year.

  • ….

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  • fred_random

    I wish to point out that the killer’s background, nationality and area of study break every stereotype and expectation in the book for this kind of crime.

    The “script” of a disgruntled and anti-social American engineering student raised and twisted in a US culture of guns and violence was, I’m sure, in the minds of many, with policy recommendations to follow.

    I can only hope that the actual facts don’t cause an anti-immigration “script” — or worse –to be substituted.

  • michael

    It’s another mass killing in the U.S., another tragedy, no matter who the gunman was.

  • dogbertt

    It breaks no stereotype at all.

    Please have the decency not to make excuses at this time.

  • seouldout

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  • http://populargusts.blogspot.com/ bulgasari

    This is what happens when you send decent Koreans to America and have them infected by American society and culture. Maybe the practice of sending students by the planeload to America to study needs to be rethought.

    I’m sure the above (the first sentence, at least) will soon appear in the Korean media.

  • JK

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  • JK

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  • SomeguyinKorea

    Having been in the military, I probably like shooting rifles more than the average person, but I can say that I’m incredibly happy after hearing the identity of the gunman that South Korea has strict gun control laws. Thanks to them, nothing like this has happened here since that cop went on a rampage in the early 80′s (was it 99 victims?)…and I hope it stays that way. There are far too many suicidal people here to allow any of them to have guns in their hands. It’s dangerous enough as it is that many of them jump off rooftops.

  • Wedge

    #21: You beat me to it. What’s the over-under on when the local press starts blaming this on America? Tomorrow’s edition?

  • Pingback: Foreign Dispatches

  • winnie_pooh

    bulgasari – you have got to be kidding me, right?!

  • http://usinkorea.org/blog1 usinkorea

    I am surprised the fight-or-flight instinct didn’t kick in and someone rush the shooter and instantly trigger a few more to rush him too.

    I am surprised he wasn’t stopped fairly early on since he was a lone gunman with 2 handguns.

    It isn’t easy to hit moving targets or targets of any real distance with a handgun unless you are practiced at it, but even then, being rushed by 2 or more people probably would have ended this shooting much earlier. I can understand how individuals were frozen in place or obeyed his commands or whatnot. That is human instinct too, but I would have expected some of the males to have said, “Screw it” and gone for him instinctively when he started shooting people execution style and kept on firing….

  • winnie_pooh

    Whoever did this – and let’s leave out his nationality and race – must have been a very depressed and crazy man…

  • ….

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  • Uri Onara

    Well, I certainly doubt we will see in America the kind of angry mania and mass demonstrations that South Korea after American soldiers *accidentally* ran over Korean schoolgirls. And I also guess Xinhua is going to move the story off of the bottom of its page (“no Chinese killed”) to the top.

  • H. Kim

    Out of a sense of decency to those who have suffered from this tragedy as well as those who have to live with it, I would request that the posters on this board keep their schadenfreude and the speculation to a minimum if at all possible.

    And while Metropolitician has already gone a limb to attribute motives, specifically “Korean females dating non-Koreans”, I would prefer to be more circumspect and let cooler heads prevail.

    This is a flat out tragedy regardless of what your race or nationality is.

  • Uri Onara

    Any bets on how KCNA will bend this? I’ll bet they run it… somehow.

  • slim

    A beautiful young woman of South Asian descent and a black 4.0 student and marching band member with charisma that made him famous campus-wide were among the earliest victims identified. Some 20% of VT students are of Asian decsent or nationality, according to one tally I saw.

    Author Fox Butterfield (exNYT) is on NPR now saying his recent work on profiles of mass killers debunked the notion of any one profile. He said the stereotype is of a middle-aged white loner, but that past killers have also been young, black, female and Asian-American.

    This story requires a calm focus on just the facts and the utmost of media professionalism, which, to me, unfortunately means it may be too sensitive for most ROK outlets to handle.

    I also worry about the usual suspects here, whose names or initials almost always mark the place where rational debates go to die.

  • http://orientem.blogspot.com/ …..

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  • http://usinkorea.org/blog1 usinkorea

    Anybody remember the string of copycat slaughters in fast food restaurants in the 1980s?

    Anybody remember where the phrase “going postal” came from?

    Saddly, these kinds of things happen enough in American society that the person’s nationality won’t come into play much.

    And from a different angle, looking back at how the bloodbath on Arab-looking individuals didn’t happen after 9/11 like I fully expected, i don’t think Koreans have to worry much in the US.

  • H. Kim

    #31: Typo

    gone a limb

    my mistake (lazy fingers):
    …gone out on a limb…

  • Sambek_ZX

    In response to #27, if he was the typical loner Korean, he would have played enough videogames to know to keep his distance, keep his targets within his field of vision, and maintain situational awareness to prevent the blindside attack. Any tactial shooter (CS, GRAW, RB6, AA) teaches you to instinctively do these things. The only thing for the students to do was barricade or run.

  • http://orientem.blogspot.com/ The Western Confucian

    #34: Typo

    athical: ethical

    (lazy fingers and Baron du Val wine)

  • SomeguyinKorea

    There is a profile, Slim: mass killers are all whacked in the head.

  • Sonagi

    USinKorea wrote:

    “I am surprised the fight-or-flight instinct didn’t kick in and someone rush the shooter and instantly trigger a few more to rush him too.”

    Honestly, I don’t think I would have had the courage to rush the shooter. Nearly every victim had multiple bullet wounds. If four people had charged him, the first three would have fallen. 30 people were shot in that lecture hall anyway, but I can understand why everyone cowered behind desks as the gunman was shooting. At least they had the sense and courage to hold the door shut when the killer returned.

    At my school, there are codes and procedures in place for different types of emergencies, including communication methods and duties for staff. I wonder if clear emergency procedures were in place at Virginia Tech, if the staff and students are aware of procedures, and if there are regular drills.

  • http://usinkorea.org/blog1 usinkorea

    If you are not a practiced shot with a real handgun, you aren’t going to take out 3 or 4 people rushing at you. Hitting targets with a pistol is not as easy as it looks. Once you go a few yards away from the target, unless you have had training and practice, you’ll miss even a stationary target.

    Moving targets coming at him with all the adrenline pumping through his body, he wouldn’t have stood a chance of hitting 1 perhaps 2 people before the others got to him.

  • H. Kim

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  • Sonagi

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  • http://usinkorea.org/blog1 usinkorea

    “I don’t think I would have had the courage to rush the shooter.”

    I’m talking about the fight-or-flight instinct. It is an animal instinct and not really about courage or cowardice.

    I would think with that many people around, and the guy firing and firing, and especially if he did order some people to stand against the wall and then shot them — there would have been a high enough percentage of “fighters” among the “flighters” to stop the guy…

  • http://www.dprkstudies.org/ Richardson

    Cho’s photo released;
    http://www.dprkstudies.org/

  • http://www.occidentalism.org shakuhachi

    The girlfriend was white.

  • slim

    #35 — I can’t forget though that one or two Sikhs were gunned down in the wake of 9/11.

  • mins0306

    The only thing I want to add is let’s not turn this tragedy into a session of finger pointing, stereotyping, racial remarks, and we are not to blame crap.

    This applies to both Koreans and non-Koreans.

  • Uri Onara

    It is a sad time for America and Korea. How many kyopo students were shot?

  • http://usinkorea.org/blog1 usinkorea

    #47 — I was so worried about how many revenge killings and attacks were going to take place, I emailed 3 or 4 Muslim organizations immediately after the 9/11 attacks expressing my hopes things would settle down.

  • http://www.occidentalism.org shakuhachi

    How come when everyone thought that the perp was Chinese from Shanghai that no one was calling for no finger pointing, but now it is revealed that it was a South Korean that did it we have two people from the same country as the perp warning us not to point fingers? There has not even been any finger pointing on this thread. I think these folk are a little trigger happy with their warnings!

  • http://orientem.blogspot.com/ The Western Confucian

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  • H. Kim

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  • Paul H.

    News accounts say that survivors never heard him say a single word.

    Two pistols, one a Glock 9mm, one a Walther 22 caliber. Not sure of the magazine capacity of either but I suspect double digits for each (for reference, standard US 45 is/was a 7 round magazine).

    Some accounts say that at least one point he was firing both weapons, one from either hand. If he kept one with some rounds still loaded while he loaded the other, it would have been very tough to rush him with an instant “pick-up” team of guys who don’t normally work together.

    Evidently he was carrying plenty of additional ammo, sounds like it was pre-loaded in magazines. You can slam in a fresh pre-loaded magazine in an instant, just like in the movies; I think successful “rushes” of previous shooters in similar incidents usually occurred during a “stoppage” (jam), or the weapon had to be reloaded one round at a time; more likely to have the shooter start fumbling when this happens and watching potential victims will immediately be able to “nerve” themselves to try a rush.

    CNN is interviewing one young guy who went out into the hallway, saw the shooter emerging from a classroom down the hallway and headed his way. He ducked back into the classroom and started to hide but realized that wouldn’t do any good, so he and a couple of other guys grabbed a heavy table or desk near the door and used it to block the door.

    Held the door handle to keep him from opening it, but stayed off to the side so when the shooter fired through the door to stop them from blocking it, they weren’t hit. From the other side of the door, they heard him drop a magazine out of a weapon and then slap in another one.

    Shooter gave up and went on to his next target. I’d say the actions of these young guys were probably the best that could be done under the circumstances.

    As far as unprepared civilians being able to suddenly coordinate a “rush” against a fast-moving opponent who suddenly appears, I think you’re underestimating the shock factor of the totally unexpected.

  • wjk

    If the US is a mature society, the fact that this dude was Korean shouldn’t really matter.

    So, it turned out he’s Korean.

    One of those Koreans, dogbertt hates.

    What and why was this dude a Green card holder still with ROK citizenship when he’s been in the states since a elementary school kid?

    Just using the US for personal benefits, is what I say. Either that, or he had personal real estate in ROK or something.

    Dude deserves all the worst possible that comes at him, post mortum.

    Congradulations, shaku, party and rock on. This is your day. Your glorious day. He’s a kyopo, he’s hated, why he’s your favorite. Burn him in effigay. Go vandalize your favorite Korean restaurant.

    Something like this should never, ever happen again, anywhere.

  • Uri Onara

    Fox reports one of the victims killed was a “Henry Lee.”

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  • cm

    It’s terrible time to be Korean abroad right now.
    I had co-workers marching into my office and letting me graciously know the maniac was a Korean and probably asking for a some kind of explanation. To that I said, “Really? That was a terrible incident, at least one good thing he blew his brains out”. In the corners of the offices, I hear whispers of “immigrants that come here and don’t integrate, ruining everything”.

  • http://rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler

    cm—I’m sorry to hear that. You shouldn’t have to put up with that shit.

  • robert neff

    The whole thing sickens me. I am only left wondering how the Korean press will report it. As I was sitting here in the PC room I was showing one of the young employees here how much stuff that tends to portray Korea in a negative light never makes it to the Korean press, and, if it does, it is relegated to a fourth or fivth page and heavily glossed over.

    I don’t think this incident is a reflection on Korea itself – the actions of one tormented psycho – but I think the Korean press and government’s actions and how they handle this horrible incident will and should be a reflection.

  • http://www.wmga.net captbbq

    for what its worth (not much) but we know that there will be no anti Korean reaction in the US.

    Contrast that with the depraved hate orgy that followed the accidental killings of Mee-su and Hyo-Sun.

    I know Koreans will be rather concerned about this guy because of the possible reaciton in the US they perceive. They are projecting their reaction were the same to happen here (say, if a deranged English teacher were to drop a gasoline bomb on a crowded Daegu subway killing 144 people etc…)

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  • http://koreanamerican431.blogspot.com/ baduk

    It is a tragedy. If Cho stayed in Korea, he would have well-adjusted into Korean society.

    His parents decide to go to America. If they have gone to a big city like NY or LA, he would have been OK.

    However, he had grown up in a small town in virginia. He suffered much racism. He was judged to be less than his peers.

    He became very anti-social. He hated everyone. He got to know a white girl. This was, he thought, a chance to become a full American.

    When she dumped him, he became so angry. He hated her, the university and USA.

    He shot everyone.

    P.S. American gun law and society need changing. As usinkorea pointed out, Cho must have had lots of practice in shooting people. Where did he get such practice? Video games? Maybe not. In small town USA, young people play with guns. It is so easy to get guns. Actually, it is encouraged to have gun and learn to shoot.

    Why is a hand gun sold to young people? I can think of no reason why people under 30 be allowed to own a hand gun?

    America has a problem with guns.

  • http://usinkorea.org/blog1 usinkorea

    Again, I’m talking about the fight-or-flight instinct, not some coordination or something that is even conscious thought. Yes, I can picture the shock freezing people. I can picture it getting people to do what the guy said if he told them to stand against the wall. But, human instinct when cornered is also to fight, and I’m suprised given the number of people around, and how long the shootings went on, the “fight” instinct didn’t kick in way in which he was rushed by a few people at some point.

    As for the stuff about the guns, that is part of my thinking too.

    Unless he was trained and practiced, hitting targets with a pistol isn’t as easy as people think.

    And they specifically train you not to use one hand when shooting at targets because it makes you even more inaccurate – even at close distances.

    Reloading magazines is also going to be an issue if you are acting Joe Hollywood blazing with a gun in each hand.

  • JK

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  • Uri Onara

    Captbbq & JK, refer to my first post (#30).

  • slim

    cm – and this is happening to you in Canada?

  • robert neff

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  • http://www.occidentalism.org shakuhachi

    I don’t think this incident is a reflection on Korea itself – the actions of one tormented psycho – but I think the Korean press and government’s actions and how they handle this horrible incident will and should be a reflection.

    They have already reacted.

    Part of their response is to hint that he is more American than Korean by pointing out that he has been in the US since 1992.

    The alleged shooter _ identified as Cho Seung-hui, 23 _ had been in the United States since 1992, Cho Byung-se, a ministry official handling North American affairs, told reporters late Tuesday.

  • …….

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  • robert neff

    Good point Shakuhachi….you are indeed correct that they are trying to quickly point out that he is more American than Korean…..unlike Hines….who, after doing something that Korea could capitalize upon, quickly was lauded for being Korean

  • http://www.occidentalism.org shakuhachi

    To the Australian of partial Japanese descent

    I am not of partial Japanese descent, not a single drop. Please do not spread any more lies with that forked tongue of yours.

  • http://usinkorea.org/blog1 usinkorea

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  • Uri Onara

    Shakuhachi has a point. I had to wonder why the first Korean headline I saw called him a kyopo. But those are apparently the facts.

  • JK

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  • cm

    “cm – and this is happening to you in Canada?”

    It’s a big news here with this story splashed all over the papers. Is that a surprise? I don’t think the backlash will be against Koreans (minus some minor aggrevations), it will be more towards immigration issues.

  • Uri Onara

    Xinhua just sent this story from very bottom to the top of their page.

  • H. Kim

    #61:

    for what its worth (not much) but we know that there will be no anti Korean reaction in the US.

    At least not collectively or en masse — that’s not the American way. But I guarantee you, there will be a backlash and a concomitant increase in the following:
    1) Increased anti-Asian sentiment;
    2) Increased discrimination against Asians;
    3) Increased hate crimes against Asians;
    4) Increased denial of service against Asians;
    5) Increased civil rights violations against Asians;
    6) Increased racial tension between Asians and other races;
    7) Increased crime against Asians;
    8) Increased anti-immigrant sentiment;
    9) Increased white ethnocenticism;
    10) Increased racial polarization in American society.

    There will be repercussions, not just toward Koreans, KAs, but any Asian or Asian American wishing to make a go of it in the U.S.

  • http://koreanamerican431.blogspot.com/ baduk

    robert neff,

    I am just describing difficulties faced by Asians in smalltown, USA because they look different. It is more severe for Orientals. Much more so than Hispanics and Blacks. Being a super-small minority has its sting as many of you ex-pats in Korea will attest to.

    Sonagi,

    I am glad that you are doing something about it. If Cho had met many good and kind Americans who had taken time to talk to him and prop up his self-esteem, this would not have happened.

  • Ut videam

    #63 –

    However, he had grown up in a small town in virginia. He suffered much racism. He was judged to be less than his peers.

    Hold your horses there. Fairfax County, where Mr. Cho grew up, is emphatically not a small town. Rather, it is an extremely affluent, extremely diverse suburb of Washington, DC. In fact, it has a significant Korean community, as evidenced by the presence of an ethnic Korean Catholic parish there.

    Also, as a wealthy suburban area—hence fairly densely populated—with a generally liberal political bent, Fairfax County is not the kind of place where young people play with guns.

    Such baseless assumptions and generalizations are entirely unhelpful, baduk. In this case, they couldn’t be much further off the mark.

  • judge judy

    ban ki moon referred to it as a “tragic accident.”

  • http://koreanamerican431.blogspot.com/ baduk

    Ut videam,

    OK, maybe I am wrong. Maybe Cho had some family history of madness.

    However, I do think he had a very low self-esteem. Shooting at everyone? He must hated everyone in USA. Why he got to be that way?

    It must something to do with his environment and his upbringing.

  • http://usinkorea.org/blog1 usinkorea

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  • Sonagi

    @H.Kim #78,

    You implore fellow commenters not to indulge in schadenfreude, and then spew a long list of presumptions about how Americans will react. I look forward to seeing you prove your predictions right with objective data, like news reports of revenge attacks and such.

    @Baduk #79,

    It isn’t me. It’s the community. The people of my community are very tolerant and welcoming to newcomers no matter where they’re from.

    @Ut videam #80,

    Glad you caught that error. The Fairfax County town of Centreville, where Cho grew up, is diverse with a large and growing Asian population. In fact, I do my shopping at Korean-owned Grand Mart supermarket right smack in the middle of Centreville. In the Fairfax County school system, Koreans comprise the second largest ESL population after Salvadorans. Baduk is wrong. Cho did not grow up as an isolated minority.

  • robert neff

    Thanks Ut Videam for your insight… I have nothing against you Baduk but I found your comments extremely offensive. Perhaps you should have taken the cue of the Marmot and refrained from spewing unsubstantuated rumors or personal beliefs.

    I don’t condone racism or other …isms of the same ilk, but it is true in all countries and all cities…that there is some racism and prejudism…no different in Korea. In the past there was a strong regionalism that was prevalent in the society – thankfully this has eased.

    Schools are notorious for their “in groups” and the ostracizing of those who do not fit into the “in group.” While it is wrong to mistreat people in this manner it does not justify taking a gun and shooting innocent people. Why are you trying to justify this?

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  • Netizen Kim

    The shooter is indeed a US kyopo.

    But yesterday he was Chinese.

    Probably deduced from the earliest eyewitness accounts that described the killer as Chinese, since that is what all Asians are, for the most part, in America.

    Today, they are making him to sound like an Korean international student, which he is not.

    If the killer has been living in the US since the age of 3, then he is Korean-American, a kyopo.

  • http://koreanamerican431.blogspot.com/ baduk

    robert neff,

    I am not justifying the horrendous killing.

    I just like to get into Cho’s head and understand why. Since I have similar background as his, I ventured my explaination.

    Understanding this incident correctly will help us to prevent similar acts of violence. I am concentrating on

    1) Why did he hate everyone?

    2) What drove him to such madness?

    3) What is his upbringing, environment, family, school life, religion?

    4) How can we prevent this type acts?

    5) Is it videogames or Korean family life or gun law that caused this tragedy?

  • slim

    The ROK Foreign Ministry statement on the Brisbane Times is AP coverage of the statement, not the statement itself. I don’t think one can fairly accuse the ministry of spinning it that way based on the juxtaposition chosen by the reporter. It looks like they wisely stuck to the known facts and offered sincere condolences.

    I worry that Roh Moo-hyun or someone from the Uri Party might say something dumb or crass and possibly unintentionally revealing — but until that moment, we have baduk.

  • cm

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  • robert neff

    As for gun laws – did anyone notice that the mayor of Nagasaki was shot a couple of hours ago? I think Japan has some pretty severe gun laws – as does Korea (thank God). This guy that killed his fellow student in Virginia evidently bought his guns in March….seems he has been stewing and planning this for quite some time….prepared to the end. Chains for the doors? A boyscout-like uniform and lots of ammo. sick

  • SomeguyinKorea

    “It’s terrible time to be Korean abroad right now.
    I had co-workers marching into my office and letting me graciously know the maniac was a Korean and probably asking for a some kind of explanation. To that I said, “Really? That was a terrible incident, at least one good thing he blew his brains out”. In the corners of the offices, I hear whispers of “immigrants that come here and don’t integrate, ruining everything”.”

    Man, that sucks. Look on the bright side. Didn’t you say you’re the office manager? You now know who to pick if the company asks you to lay off a few workers.

  • Fantasy

    “10) Increased racial polarization in American society.”

    H. Kim, # 78:

    You have been contributing to this racial polarisation (as I would spell it in British English) all the time by your racially-motivated insults. So do not shed any false tears…

    The killer, however, was just a killer – there is no proof that he was a racist. Nor do I believe that any White, Black or Hispanic American who have their wits together will ascribe the killer’s crime to his race. But then, of course, in your view “Race Matters”…

  • Sonagi

    #87 Netizen Kim wrote:

    “Probably deduced from the earliest eyewitness accounts that described the killer as Chinese, since that is what all Asians are, for the most part, in America.”

    The eyewitness accounts I read described the killer as “Asian,” not “Chinese.” It was preliminary news reports that erroneously identified the man as a Chinese national on a student visa. These news reports were probably based on leaks from law enforcement, who were trying to identify a man with no ID and no face.

  • H. Kim

    You implore fellow commenters not to indulge in schadenfreude, and then spew a long list of presumptions about how Americans will react.

    Excuse me, but have I shown any enjoyment over this? I reiterate again — this whole thing is a tragedy for all those involved, as well as a national disgrace for this country and the U.S. And I hope you prove me wrong about a backlash — that would be only redeeming thing to come out of this if it happened.

  • robert neff

    I fully agree with Fantasy:

    “The killer, however, was just a killer – there is no proof that he was a racist. Nor do I believe that any White, Black or Hispanic American who have their wits together will ascribe the killer’s crime to his race.”

  • Ut videam

    #87-

    But yesterday he was Chinese.

    Probably deduced from the earliest eyewitness accounts that described the killer as Chinese, since that is what all Asians are, for the most part, in America.

    Maybe to a small extent. But it was primarily due, I think, to early reports that the investigation was focusing on a 24 year old from Shanghai who was in the US on a student visa.

    If the killer has been living in the US since the age of 3, then he is Korean-American, a kyopo.

    According to the ROK Foreign Ministry, he had been in the US since 1992, which would have made him 8 when he immigrated. His immigration status was Resident Alien, which means he held ROK citizenship.

    Not that it really matters. He was a profoundly disturbed human person who committed a senseless act. Whether he was Korean or Korean-American is trivial. The leitmotif here is man’s inhumanity to man.

  • http://koreanamerican431.blogspot.com/ baduk

    Cho moved to the US when he was three.

    He grew up as a KoreanAmerican. He grew up in America! He watched American TV, attended American schools and lived in American surrounding.

    And, he killed over 30 people in one day.

    Why?

    The reason is totally American. His “Americanness” drove him to do this violent act.

    Obviously, his family life had severe problem. His parents must be pretty bad people to raise a son like him. I think his parents should be jailed for bringing this problem to the society.

    I hold them responsible. Then, I hold American gun merchants responsible.

  • wjk

    i mentioned it won’t be problem whether he was Korean or not, if America was a mature country.

    Linking back to my white flight talk, which makes most of you uncomfortable, evidently, America is not that mature.

    Cm’s North American colleagues talking about immigrants and integration, when cm’s the boss.

    Asking for an explanation? What does cm have to do with it?

    Remember when that dude in Japan grabbed a sword and slashed away at toddlers at a school? I heard this white lady, who was a PhD in the medical sciences ask another Japanese PhD in the medical sciences, what was going “with your country”.

    That was like year 2000 or so. We East Asians don’t go around asking white people what’s going on with America when loner gunmen of Columbine shoot up people or ask black people what’s going on with America when Malvo snipes people in DC.

    Double, double.

    Standard.

    Besides, what does my explanation or cm’s explanation accomplish anything?

    Do they have the same balls to ask an Arab American what’s going on with Muslims when a US citizen terrorist is captured in the US by the FBI?

    Or ask a Chinese US Citizen what’s going on with China when some Chinese scientist get caught red handed stealing military secrets?

    Not as mature as you would like to believe.

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  • wjk

    so far a lot of these mass killers were loners with guns.

    You ought to be able to reference 5 people at least when you buy a gun. Not that I know anything about buying guns. You know, similar to a job screen.

    In defense of the NRA, if there was a security guard on hand with a good shot, this guy didn’t get to kill 32, that’s for sure.

  • http://koreanamerican431.blogspot.com/ baduk

    Actually, if Cho had made frequent trips to Korea, he would not have had such a low self-esteem.

    Growing up in America, an Oriental can get “brainwashed” into believing Asians are inferior race. This happens to all minorities in America.

    Things are getting better, though. Much better.

  • http://www.occidentalism.org shakuhachi

    The shooter is indeed a US kyopo.

    But yesterday he was Chinese.

    Probably deduced from the earliest eyewitness accounts that described the killer as Chinese, since that is what all Asians are, for the most part, in America.

    Finger prints were misidentified and that created confusion. It had nothing to do with witnesses not being able to tell Asians apart.

    Today, they are making him to sound like an Korean international student, which he is not.

    If the killer has been living in the US since the age of 3, then he is Korean-American, a kyopo.

    He is a South Korean national, not a Korean American. However, Kyopo also covers permanent resident Korean nationals. So he is a Kyopo but not a Korean American.

  • http://www.occidentalism.org shakuhachi

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  • http://corpycarly.typepad.com Corpy Carly

    As Baduk and WJK condemn American society for its inherent racism they turn to ridiculous armchair psychology and racial stereotyping. How appropriate.

  • H. Kim

    [Comment deleted: obscenity and personal attacks]

  • Sonagi

    wjk wrote:

    “We East Asians don’t go around asking white people what’s going on with America when loner gunmen of Columbine shoot up people or ask black people what’s going on with America when Malvo snipes people in DC.”

    I thought you were Korean-American. I can assure you that East Asians, specifically Koreans and Chinese, do ask us Americans “What’s up with your country?” when violent crimes in the US get coverage in the local press. The young Korean student shot by the gunman who killed 11? people in Illinois and Indiana a few years ago got days of press in South Korea, including photos of a weeping father.

  • http://koreanamerican431.blogspot.com/ baduk

    Ut videam,

    I was talking about Violence in America. Especially about Gun Worship.

    Yes, hand guns are sold in “Gun Shows”. After Columbine, anti-gun laws are passed but I have heard in news shows that one can still just walk in and buy pistols in one of those gun shows.

    Cho bought pistols.

    This is a big problem in America. Am I suddenly become anti-American just because I point out this love of guns are just as American as apple pies?

    Don’t shoot the messenger. American attitude toward guns have to change. There is something wrong with a society where one guy can walk into a public place shoot up thirty people.

    And, nobody is doing anything about the real cause! Tighten the requirement for getting guns. Put inhibition mechanism for guns and ammo.

  • Ut videam

    #99-

    That was like year 2000 or so. We East Asians don’t go around asking white people what’s going on with America when loner gunmen of Columbine shoot up people or ask black people what’s going on with America when Malvo snipes people in DC.

    Actually… several of my students asked me exactly that sort of question on Tuesday. These aren’t kids, mind you, but engineers and managers at one of the country’s largest chaebol firms.

    Wednesday’s classes ought to be interesting.

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  • http://corpycarly.typepad.com Corpy Carly

    Hey Baduk, how can you blame American society for this one, http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/4107754.stm

    American imperialism creating a sense of shame among Korean officers who then beat their subordinates who then kill their superiors in revenge? Sounds about as logical as your earlier bleating.
    Lord knows these kind of things could never happen in a pure, uncorrupted Korean society. Gotta be those damn racist caucasoids in America.

  • H. Kim

    #109:

    The young Korean student shot by the gunman who killed 11? people in Illinois and Indiana a few years ago got days of press in South Korea, including photos of a weeping father.

    That was Won-joon Yoon who was murdered by white supremacist Benjamin Nathaniel Smith back in 1999 on July 4th weekend. Smith also killed Northwestern University basketball coach Ricky Byrdsong during his spree. I was living in Chicago at the time and everyone was freaked out by his rampage through Rogers Park where he wounded several orthodox Jews and Skokie, where he killed Byrdsong.

  • http://www.dprkstudies.org/ Richardson
  • TheDailyKimchi

    It sucks to hear about the shooting, it must be devastating for the families. It also sucks that the media is going to brand this guy as South Korean to the Nth degree. I can see it now…if he was an exchange student, they would probably blame it on extensive Sudden Attack game play…

  • non korean

    There are psychos from every country. This one just so happened to be Korean.

    I fully expect the Korean media to go into defense mode and after a week the media will twist this terrible event so that Korea and Koreans are not to blame. Not that they are to blame. Again there are psychos in every country. This was an act of one lone psycho and his nationality has little if anything to do with it. But they will put the blame on something else all the same.

    During the 2002 schoolgirl accident, a half dozen U.S government officials apologized and Bush apologized twice and it still wasn’t “sincere” or good enough. What would be Korea’s standard in this case? How many times would Roh have to apologize? Luckily I think Americans are not as petty.

  • slim

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  • Ut videam

    #110-

    There is something wrong with a society where one guy can walk into a public place shoot up thirty people.

    Ah, you mean like Germany? France? Switzerland? Japan? Brazil? Australia? The United Kingdom? South Korea?

    It can happen anywhere, baduk. Madness is endemic to the human condition.

  • http://thedailykimchi.blogspot.com/ TheDailyKimchi

    What gets me is how the labeling of the killer is the most prevalent in all the stories. He was “South Korean”…the same as how some terrorists are all labeled “Islamic”…

  • http://koreanamerican431.blogspot.com/ baduk

    Corpy Carly, Ut videam, and others,

    OK. I admit Koreans do go berserk in military and society.

    But, you must admit that American society’s lax attitude and over promotion of gun possession need correction. No other civilized society in Europe and Asia has this love of rugged individualism protected by self-arming.

    Many Korean parents observe their children educated in America has more “affinity” toward guns and violence. American media is filled with violent images and killings. Monkey see, monkey do.

    And, guns are so easy to get in America. $50 will buy you a nice pistol.

    If you are mad, get even. Shoot those you hate. Cho did that.

  • http://corpycarly.typepad.com Corpy Carly

    #121 $50?!? Where? I need to get my ass down there before they sell out ;)

  • a-letheia

    What gets me is how the labeling of the killer is the most prevalent in all the stories. He was “South Korean”…

    I have been watching FOX NEWS for nearly and hour. And I have heard the words “South Korea” only once, as they showed pics of his house and discussed his parents. Just ONCE!

  • Haisan

    I had a friend in college who went crazy. Very weird thing, to see someone you know slipping into schizophrenia. He even stabbed his shrink.

    Point being, mental illness happens everywhere, and happens for a wide variety of reasons. Senseless to speculate the causes and details in this guy’s case, especially when so little is known about him.

  • http://koreanamerican431.blogspot.com/ baduk

    I just heard from News that Cho wrote in his last note that ” he hates rich kids and debauchery”.

    This brings in new dimension. Class Warfare.

    I guess Cho was not one of those “rich kids”. He is lying to himself that he lost his girl because he was not rich enough.

    This story has everything; love, jealousy, gun, killing, racism, low self-esteem, the rich and the poor, Korean experience in America, college, professors, heroism, etc..

  • Ut videam

    #121-

    Many Korean parents observe their children educated in America has more “affinity” toward guns and violence. American media is filled with violent images and killings. Monkey see, monkey do.

    More “affinity” than, say, the kids who spend their weekend in the PC rooms blasting away at Sudden Attack, Special Force, etc.? Please.

    But, you must admit that American society’s lax attitude and over promotion of gun possession need correction. No other civilized society in Europe and Asia has this love of rugged individualism protected by self-arming.

    How about this? I’ll refrain from posting a laundry list of the faults I perceive in Korean culture, and you respect the memory of the fallen by refraining from using this tragedy to tell Americans what you think is wrong with ours.

    Not to put too fine a point on it, shut the hell up already.

  • cm
  • Netizen Kim

    I just love the way the Metropolitician managed to use this tragic incident to work in some of the most irrelevant stuff imaginable, using the example of Korean international students, even the killer was NOT an Korean international student.

    Metropolitican wrote:

    I’d been waiting for it.

    The shooter is South Korean.

    I’d been suspecting it all day, for a lot of reasons, which is why I was sitting by the computer. Not the least of which was because a group of American university administrators whom Fulbright hosted nearly 10 years ago, when being a tour of Korean universities, asked the staff, “Why is it that out of all our international students, Korean males have so much trouble?”

    To my surprise, all of the university officials cited incident after incident of Korean male graduate students who seemed to have trouble adjusting, often got into fights with other students in the living spaces, and were often the source of trouble in dealing with romantic relationships gone bad or women in general, especially when they involved Korean females dating non-Koreans.

  • http://koreanamerican431.blogspot.com/ baduk

    Ut videam,

    You seemed to be a nice man and suddenly you lose it when I point out this “gun problem” in America.

    I guess you love your gun too.

    Things don’t change until America first recognize it has a problem.

    I repeat “in no other countries, a man can walk into a public place and gun down thirty people one at a time”.

    No other.

  • cm

    If the murderer didn’t live in America but in Korea, he would have done the same thing in Korea, either shot up a military barrack or pour gasoline in a subway train. This kind of thing always happens in Korea. The only differences are that usually it’s not gun related in Korea. This terrible incident has nothing to do with American culture nor Korean culture (both sides of the fence who are saying one or the other are BS’ing). Reading the AP news, it sounds like he was a mentally disturbed individual but we don’t know for that sure. He may well been an angry person who wanted to get back at the world for his life that sucked.

  • http://koreanamerican431.blogspot.com/ baduk

    Cho wore a vest filled with ammo. Even to shoot and kill thirty people. He must have had over 100 bullets.

    For a country that requires doctor’s note to buy medicine, it does not take any permission for a civilian to buy as many bullets as he wants.

    Cho could have bought over 1000 bullets to kill 1000 people.

    Something got to be done about guns and ammo but America will not do anything. I can sense that from the responses I get from here.

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  • slim

    I too thought the Metropolitician was over the top and too quick on the draw with that kind of speculation. Some Korean ingredients of that portrait might be contained in the details that are emerging (of course not Cho’s educational timeline), but I look forward to an elaboration or a climbdown from the metro-man.

  • http://koreanamerican431.blogspot.com/ baduk

    Ut videam,

    I guess you are new and do not know that I am as American as you. So, don’t say “Korea has its other problems as bad as this”.

    I am trying to prevent this type of tragedy.

    News media is putting heavy blame on VT’s decision not to suspend the classes after the initial killing that occurred in the dorm.

    Media is spinning it. The real cause is “guns and ammos”.

    People get mad. They get mad at their girl friend. They get mad about their situation. Money, job, neighbors, etc. And, they want to vent their frustration.

    They could just kick their dogs. Or, drive wild. Or, spit on the sidewalk.

    But, in America, they go out shooting.

    America must control its guns and bullets. How about national database of guns and bullets? How about tracking every bullet? It is possible. Why are pistols sold? Only gaming rifles should be sold.

    The truth is Gun manufacturing is a big business. Just like Tobacco. And, organization like NRA is spreading lies.

    How many more lives should be given to this “gun obssession” before things change?

  • Pyotr

    “No other.”

    That’s the smartest thing you’ve said since you nailed Hwang.

  • estebanko

    I hope some head starts to roll in the security dept. @7:00 AM two shot dead. Over two hours later, this mofo is still at large. He should have been mowed down way before. How could they be so complacent. Friggin mind boggling

    And no, guns are fine. He could have gone to Home Depot and pulled Timothy McVeigh.

  • Ut videam

    baduk,

    What part of IT HAPPENS EVERYWHERE are you unable or unwilling to understand?

    It’s utterly disgraceful, if unsurprising, that anyone would be so opportunistic as to employ a tragedy to advance a political agenda.

    The fact that implementing such an agenda would not prevent such tragedies (witness the spree killings in other countries twice hitherto referenced) only adds an additional pathetic element to the cravenness.

    Guns don’t kill people… but I might, if I had to listen to this drivel in person. :x

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  • http://hojupjimong.wordpress.com/ JiMong

    Good points CM.

    What a sad, awful tragedy! My heart goes out to the families and friends of those victims. Too bad Cho didn’t shoot himself first. May there be NO Mercy on his deranged soul.

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  • Maekchu

    As bad as this tragedy is, perhaps something good will come of it in the sense that Koreans can no longer turn a blind eye to their own faults and misdeeds.

    Every time a foreigner does something in this country its plastered all over the news but if a Korean does something its rarely, if ever reported.

    Case in point the US Army doctor that was murdered in front of Yongsan by a Korean a few years ago and the female US Army soldier that was raped in Taegu last year in her apartment by a Korean. Neither story was covered in the Korean media. To say the stories were buried would not be an exaggeration.

    I can’t see them burying this story although I can see them blaming US society for driving the poor misunderstood Korean lad to kill. Somehow they’ll find a way to blame it on the US Army or Japanese but at least they can’t ignore this one.

    I’m looking forward to the candlelight vigils in Seoul and throughout Korea to mourn for the 33 victims.

  • madne0

    netizen: “I’m so surprised that a Korean could do something so cruel I don’t believe it…”

    Besides the obvious examples (Kim Il Sung and dear sonny boy):
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Woo_Bum-Kon

    Record holder for the most deadly spree killing of all time.

  • http://koreanamerican431.blogspot.com/ baduk

    News services report that Cho was taking anti-depressant medication and showed signed of mental illness.

    He wrote in his suicide notes, “Ishmael acts”, which no one can understand.

    Could this be like the Son of Sam? Satanic possession?

    He locked the door behind him when he walked into the engineering building. He repeated reloaded his pistol, smiling. Totally mad, yet methodical.

    Satanic possession.

  • Paul H.

    1) Baduk #98:

    “…The reason is totally American. His “Americanness” drove him to do this violent act.

    Obviously, his family life had severe problem. His parents must be pretty bad people to raise a son like him. I think his parents should be jailed for bringing this problem to the society.

    I hold them responsible…..”

    2) CNN just interviewed the Caucasian-looking US mailman for Cho family. He said he had been mailman for Cho family since they moved into their current home in Centreville.

    He said he didn’t see the parents much as they were gone all the time, evidently they both worked (another report (FOX news?) says they own a dry cleaning business in Centreville).

    When he did see them, his impression was favorable, as they were always smiling and polite. The mailman then had to pause for a moment, as he got choked up; then he said “No parent should have to go through this”.

    Should we take this mailman’s reaction as typical of white Americans, while we take yours as typical of Koreans and Korean-Americans, Baduk?

    Baduk, I recommend you just cease-fire for a while. Let your comment gun barrel cool down; your mouth is overloading your ass.

  • gbevers

    Yes, the shooter was just a nut who happened to be Korean, but that does not change the fact that Koreans tend to be hypocrites in regard to tragedies like this.

    Did anyone see the cartoon in Seoul Shinmun?

    http://www.occidentalism.org/?p=594

  • http://koreanamerican431.blogspot.com/ baduk

    Paul H.,

    I value your opinion and stop writing for a while.

    1) Unless Cho had mental illness, I still hold his parents responsible. Maybe they were too busy to love their son.

    2) American society must control its “guns and ammos”. Columbine was bad. And, now this..How do you stop it? Nothing can stop it? I believe a government must act when it sees problems. Actually, it should be pro-active. However, if a government does nothing even in the face of Columbine and this, then it is still not recognizing it has a problem.

    3) I will vote for those politicians who speak for gun control. This is bigger than Iraq. This hits where I live. My children can be killed by another mad man with 100 bullets on the campus. Am I pushing for a political agenda? Yes, I am.

  • pawikirogi

    ‘I think Japan has some pretty severe gun laws – as does Korea (thank God).’ neff

    koreans been coming here in large numbers since the 70s. took almost 40 years for some american guy of korean ancestry to do what he did. i know you don’t like innuendo but see if you can understand my implication as i understood yours.

    ‘I fully expect the Korean media to go into defense mode and after a week the media will twist this terrible event so that Korea and Koreans are not to blame. Not that they are to blame….’

    then, why would they have to twist anything? man, think before you write!

    lastly, how many white folk breathed a sigh of relief that the killer wasn’t yet again one of them? how many on this board are gleeful the perp is an american of korean ancestry? sad…..

  • wjk

    slim, how about not reading my comments?

    I think you’re my biggest fan.

    You read everything I write.

    Really? I’m talking nonsense?

    Did people storm the Idaho Neo Nazi compounds and harass them when Timothy Buford got caught after shooting automatic rifles at Jewish children in southern California?

    No.

    Did a white guy in Arizona drive up to a Shikh, and gun him down with a rifle, right after 911?

    Yes. The dumbass couldn’t even tell the difference between a Shikh and Muslim’s headdress. All that mattered to him was darker complexion and a turban. Typical for the white American.

    Why were Korean mom and pop shops in New York and Los Angeles suddenly having a display of American flags at the registered post 911? As dumb as it sounds, it lowers the hostility down from white Americans.

    It’s so elementary, childish, obvious, and ridiculous.

    Shaku, take that photo down. Mr. Chiang has nothing to do with it. Why should people even know who he is?

    Mr. Chiang got death threats.

    Did you see a fat white guy from Idaho, who owned guns get similar threats in Idaho?

    Did the KKK leader of the US get any death threats for that matter after Buford’s rampage against Jewish children?

    Not that I know of.

    I guaranttee you that Mr. Chiang was targeted because he’s not white.

    I’m not talking nonsense. Suburbia vs Inner Cities. True in all 50 states. Can’t hide it. America’s Shame.

  • ….

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  • http://www.dprkstudies.org/ Richardson

    Baduk,
    Criminals will always have firearms. If one makes it where regular citizens can’t have them, only criminals – and police; who can’t be everywhere – will have them.

    If VA had not passed on a bill to allow concealed weapons (via permit) on campus, this might not have happened. A society w/o the right of self-defense is not the way to go, and is why우범근 wasn’t stopped until he stopped himself.

    If you don’t want guns around, I suggest you move to a country that doesn’t allow them. I’ll even suggest the UK. But there you’ll have a far greater chance of someone breaking into your home while you’re there and beating the crap out of you while robbing you. That started happening after their gun ban.

    But in the U.S. we have the constitution, and it’ll be a cold day in hell before the rights of normal citizens are truncated due to the fears of those running on pure emotion rather than logic. If you think it’s corporations, think again, it’s grassroots.

  • tharp42

    Read here for my comment: http://livejournal.com/users/tharp42

    Hey man. You should link me. I have a Busan blog that a lot of people read. Give the expat south a voice… I am the first of the Busan 9, as well, though it looks pretty silly in light of recent events.

  • tharp42

    Here’s my two cents: htpp://livejournal/users/tharp42

    Hey man,

    You should give me a link. I have a Busan blog that a lot of people read, though anything I have to say is silly, given recent events.

    Even so, give us southern expats a voice. And dare say I’m the one.

  • mondoo

    @gbeverss:

    that cartoon, just….wow!

    talk about a backfired attempt at yet another jab at the US by the Shinmun.

    truly disgusting.

  • http://21cseonbi.blogspot.com sewing

    CM: I’m sorry to hear about your experience. That’s just wrong.

    USinKorea: In a couple of comments further up, you wondered why someone didn’t rush the assailant. Others have already replied, but this wasn’t a Hollywood movie, and by the sounds of it, it would have taken not just one but maybe a couple of people with the superhuman presence of mind (in the heat of the moment), cojones, and complete lack of selflessness to disregard risking their life on the spur of the monent, to attempt such a move. In traumas like this, those who live are often plagued with “survivors’ guilt,” hating themselves for living when those close to them died. Let’s not compound that guilt by saying they could have done something more. There is nothing more any of the students or teachers caught in that situation could have been expected to do. Kudos, though, to those two guys who barricaded the door to their classroom.

    We should wonder why this guy wasn’t successfully detained after the first spree—that would have been the best way to spare some lives.

    I pray that the souls of those whose lives were cut short are enjoying eternal rest in God’s loving presence, and that he is comforting and guiding their families and loved ones.

  • Ledtim

    @stupid cartoon

    At least almost all the comments at the original Korean news site said the cartoon was bad taste, even before the shooter was outed as Korean. I guess even netizens have their limits.

  • gbevers

    Ledtim,

    Yes, Koreans are criticizing the cartoon on the Seoul Shinmun Web site, but those comments did not start until 23:16, which was after Koreans found out that a Korean was the shooter. Why weren’t there any comments before then?

  • pawikirogi

    now is the time to examine why america is such a violent society. yeah, it happens everywhere and i am sure you can give examples but what we’re talking about here is frequency. this kind of thing happens here a hell of a lot more than any other country i know of. why? in my opinion, we have a culture of violence and a belief that said violence can solve anything. just look at iraq for a good example of our violent tendencies.

  • Ledtim

    @156
    I don’t know the exact timeline when the shooter’s Koreanness was confirmed, but there seems to be a couple of post before 23:16 http://tinyurl.com/2e8far

    At least no one praised the cartoonist from what I’ve skimmed through.

    On a somewhat tasteless note, at least the shooter had the courtesy to start the shooting during the beginning of final exam crunch time, not after all the finals are over and the summer vacation begins.

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  • tharp42

    America has always been a violent society. We were founded on violence. It is our history. We have a history of blood – from our civil war to the Indian “wars.” Violence has always been our MO. We try to flee from it in our suburbs and “gated communities,” but the fact remains that America was founded on blood, and was consolidated by the same currency.

    I’m American, BTW. But we are a society based on conquest and killing. I don’t deny that. That doesn’t make us admirable, but our history is hardcore. It is a blood history. But it is ours, nonetheless.

    I love my land and I hate what it’s become. But it’s who I am. I’m not a fighter or a hard man, but a good american cat will always have my heart, even if he wants to kick my ass… at least he’s interesting.

  • Sonagi

    Judging from reactions by colleagues and hearsay from the baristas in the local coffee shop here in Northern Virginia, Koreans can rest easy. The shooter’s ethnicity is not an issue. Folks around here are just shook up and feeling tremendous sympathy for the deceased and their families. Nobody in our community is making any cultural connections between the killer’s nationality and his actions.

  • Sonagi

    Thanks for the link, Ledtim.

    I glanced over the boards and noted that a few commenters were concerned about a translated version of the cartoon appearing on US websites and have come down hard on the cartoonist. I thought this comment was well worth translating:

    만평가는 범인이 한국인이라고 밝혀진다면.. 조회 90추천 02007/04/17 23:25

    If the cartoonist had known the criminal was Korean…

    titan94 IP 211.47.xxx.195
    이렇게 미국을 비아냥거리면서 남의일처럼 느껴지는 만화질은 더이상 못하겠죠? 내일 만평이 참으로 궁금하네요..백무현씨가 어떤 만화를 그릴까? 오늘처럼 미국에서 사람죽은일을 비아냥거리는 만평으로 일관할까? 궁금하네요..

    would he be so sarcastic towards the US? I wonder what sort of cartoon Baek Mu-hyeon will draw tomorrow. Will it be the same sarcasm as today towards America’s dead? I wonder.

    I wish we waegooks had access to Naver. I’d love to rec that comment.

  • Sonagi

    And this was the very first post to the cartoon:

    한국계가 사실이라면 조회 138추천 02007/04/17 22:21

    If it’s true that it was an ethnic Korean

    jslfree IP 59.13.xxx.172
    이 만화빨리 내려야 할 듯 하네요….
    미국 네티즌 켑쳐하기 전에…

    better hurry and take down the cartoon before American netizens copy it.

  • firebrand

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  • Ledtim

    “The Korean guy couldn’t say anything, couldn’t even stammer out a coherent reply.”

    He should have said, “fuck off, you retard.”
    I don’t think that kind of behavior deserves an eloquent reply.

  • Ledtim

    I think
    만평가는 범인이 한국인이라고 밝혀진다면.. 조회 90추천 02007/04/17 23:25
    translates better as:
    If it turns out that the criminal was a Korean, what would the cartoonist…

    instead of
    If the cartoonist had known the criminal was Korean…

    Because I think the poster didn’t know for sure the criminal was Korean when he posted it, from his phrasing and the joking replies asking if he has the power of prophecy. Not that it matters too much.

  • Pingback: Korean Student Identified as V.T. Shooter at ROK Drop

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  • wjk

    anyone have stories to share about black Americans getting harassed on right after they got Malvo and his junior sniper helper?

    What? None?

    How do you explain the lash against Koreans?

    And how do you explain the above commenter’s comment that it was long overdue, deserved, and coming?

    Double, double.

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  • Sonagi

    wjk wrote:

    “How do you explain the lash (sic) against Koreans?”

    What backlash? One unfamiliar anonymous poster, firebrand, relates an anecdote about a Korean who apparently isn’t well-liked, imbedded in a comment spouting negative generalizations about Korean attitudes towards Americans.

    One swallow does not a summer make.

  • Paul H.

    #161 Sonagi: “Judging from reactions by colleagues and hearsay from the baristas in the local coffee shop here in Northern Virginia….Nobody in our community is making any cultural connections between the killer’s nationality and his actions.”

    Sonagi! Better refer your colleagues & coffee shop “baristas” (?) to posts:

    a) #157 (pawi: “…this kind of thing happens here a hell of a lot more than any other country i know of. why? in my opinion, we [Americans] have a culture of violence and a belief that said violence can solve anything…”)

    b) #160 (tharp42: “….America has always been a violent society. We were founded on violence. It is our history. We have a history of blood – from our civil war to the Indian “wars.” Violence has always been our MO…”)

    Based on these two posts, your colleagues’ responses are all wrong! They should be loading & cocking their own guns, measuring out lengths of rope, & casting dark & menacing glances at any Korean-Americans within eyeshot.

    It’s simply impossible that pawi & tharp could be so wrong about their compelling insights into our fundamental American character. Better call for your fellow Virginians to come into compliance.

    (A side note, from dictionary.com:
    Main Entry: barista
    Part of Speech: n
    Definition: a person who works at the counter of a coffee shop; a coffee bar server
    Example: He plans to become a barista at Starbucks.
    Etymology: 1982; Ital
    Usage: pl. baristi)

    (Paul H: “A new word to me — had to look it up….I suppose smiling Virginia Starbucks baristas would be horrified, if I suggested they should keep a sawed-off behind the counter, like the barkeeps in the old-timey saloons?”)

    (Sonagi: “*!%$@*!!!!”)

    (Paul H: (Sigh)”Yes, I thought they would be…forget it, it was just a passing fancy on my part.”

    (Paul H.: “May the Lord protect and keep safe all Starbucks customers, though Paul H wouldn’t take it amiss if Messrs. Smith and Wesson were called upon to provide the Lord with an ‘assist’ in this matter”.)

  • http://populargusts.blogspot.com/ bulgasari
  • slim

    Listening to hours of radio and tv coverage, Sonagi’s right about the mass media discourse here ignoring Cho’s ethnicity and passport beyond the necessary biographical facts and elements, such as the legality of his gun purchases, that bear on the investigation. The gun control argument is taking a back seat to questions about the school’s handling of the crisis and missed signs that this particular creepy dude was more than just a creepy dude.

    There will still be stupid and probably vile things said about and to Koreans by Americans, but the general cluelessness of the wider American public may help that kind of thing peter out pretty quickly. How many times has the artist formerly known as bluejives matter-of-factly reminded us that he has been and still is mistaken as Chinese? What’s more, despite the considerable energy both the ROK and the DPRK have in opposite ways expended to get and keep world attention, I’m sure a not insignificant fraction of the American population regularly confuses the two Koreas (I’m not counting long-time Korea watchers who wonder what’s up with that Sunshine movement.) I’ve seen this mistake, in the benign way people outside North America might confuse the Dakotas.

  • Sonagi

    @Ledtim:

    Your translation is more accurate, but it does not change the fact that news reports identifying the killer as possibly Korean had already leaked out by the first post “한국계가 사실이라면 조회 138추천 02007/04/17 22:21 ”

    You noted correctly that “no one praised the cartoonist.” They mostly condemned his for sullying Korea’s international face after his cartoon started appearing in US and Japanese websites.

    @Paul:

    It was Starbucks who first propagated the term “barista” in the US, but my local joint is independently owned.

  • michael

    Richardson, all due respect, while you have great insights into the DPRK on your blog, your argument with Baduk on gun control was a bit pat.

    This isn’t really the place for a gun control debate, and I wouldn’t call for a total ban on civilians owning firearms anyway, but I do want to make a couple points.

    There is certainly ample cause in the U.S. for stricter regulation of firearms. I find more “pure emotion rather than logic” coming from the NRA, which is already “gunning” for Clinton and Obama in their fundraising because the two have called for such legislation.

    The U.K. might have been a poor choice for comaprison: “In 2005/06 there were 766 offences initially recorded as homicide by the police in England and Wales (including the 52 victims of the 7 July 2005 London bombings), a rate of 1.4 per 100,000 of population. Only 50 (6.6%) were committed with firearms, one being with an air weapon. The homicide rate for London was 2.4 per 100,000 in the same year (1.7 when excluding the 7 July bombings).

    By comparison, 5.5 murders per 100,000 of population were reported by police in the United States in 2000, of which 70% involved the use of firearms (75% of which were illegally obtained).”
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_politics_in_the_United_Kingdom#Homicide_and_firearms_crime

    I’d rather take my chances on a beating than be shot to death. There is cause for concern about gun violence in the U.S. and I’d like to see some action on it.

  • wjk

    here now, I’ll tell you something truthful that just happenned over dinner.

    A friend of mine asked me,

    “So, do you know that guy from V-Tech?”

    He was smiling as he said it, but it pissed me off and I waited in silence until he apologized.

    Would I have asked him,

    “So, do you know that bomber dude from Okalahoma, or the Uni Bomber, or Buford, etc?”

    Uh, NO.

  • ssamjung

    Anyone know if this guy, the shooter, had a Cyworld page? Market penetration for Cyworld is pretty high for his age group.. might shed some light on what the heck was going on in his head…

  • JK

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  • michael

    The NYT has some interesting stuff today, like two of Cho’s plays:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/17/us/17play-one.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

    And this:
    “Ian MacFarlane, who now works for AOL and graduated from Virginia Tech in 2006, according to his Facebook profile, introduced the plays in gripping fashion:
    When I first heard about the multiple shootings at Virginia Tech yesterday, my first thought was about my friends, and my second thought was “I bet it was Seung Cho.”
    And goes on to describe how the rest of the class felt during peer-review sessions:
    When we read Cho’s plays, it was like something out of a nightmare. The plays had really twisted, macabre violence that used weapons I wouldn’t have even thought of. Before Cho got to class that day, we students were talking to each other with serious worry about whether he could be a school shooter. I was even thinking of scenarios of what I would do in case he did come in with a gun, I was that freaked out about him. When the students gave reviews of his play in class, we were very careful with our words in case he decided to snap. Even the professor didn’t pressure him to give closing comments.”
    http://thelede.blogs.nytimes.com/

    If this is true (along with a professor saying there was “concern” about him based on his writing and classroom demeanor) why didn’t the school authorities talk to him earlier?

  • http://hojupjimong.wordpress.com/ JiMong
  • dogbertt

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  • http://www.dprkstudies.org/ Richardson

    Michael,
    This is very relevant to the V-Tech case, as just last year a law that would have allowed concealed carry – by permit only – on school grounds was voted down.

    The notion that more restrictive gun control laws and less availability of firearms equals a lower murder rate is a complete myth. Between 1959 and 2000 the correlation between ownership (availability) and the murder rate was 0.128448, which means weak to non-existent. I can post an Excel spreadsheet if requested (although I might not see such a request in this mess of comments, so the comment form at my site would be better).

    It’s funny you mention emotion, since when an incident such as this occurs, what we get is pure emotion calling for more gun control. The numbers tell a different story, however.

    Also, the UK – or the rest of Europe – didn’t have comparable murder rates before their gun control. Comparing apples to bowling balls.

    Funny how all the other amendments are sacrosanct, huh? Or even made to say things they actually don’t.

    But I know when things are futile to argue; the emotion vs. logic/facts deal.

  • michael

    Richardson, I appreciate your response–in fact, in real numbers, the murder rate in the U.S. has declined in recent years. That does not make the current level of gun violence acceptable however.

    As I said, I wouldn’t call for a total ban on civilians owning firearms, nor is it neccessary to touch the Constitution in implementing some practical measures.

    I see emotions runing high on all sides when these events occur, it’s just human nature. All I’m saying is that more can be done to curtail gun violence in the U.S., which is hardly a radical stance.

  • dogbertt

    . He added, however, that despite it being a multicultural society, the United States is still primarily a white society, and Cho might have had an inferiority complex that manifested itself in a hate for white people.

    Why am I not surprised that we are already hearing the “yellow rage” excuse?

    The Virginia 33 deserve better.

  • BK

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  • dogbertt

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  • http://www.dprkstudies.org/ Richardson

    The term “gun violence” is an emotionally charged term itself. Guns don’t commit any acts, only people do.

    I find it sadly ironic that the facts suggest that more legally armed people lead to less crime, and the places with the most gun “control” have the highest crime rates, but when something like this occurs, many still call for yet more control.

    But this is largely (Baduk excepted) a left/right divide, just like taxes. The knee-jerk reaction is “more gun control will equal less crime,” but the reality is that’s a myth. With taxes it’s, “we need more revenue, so let’s tax the ‘rich’ more,” which (over time) actually leads to much smaller tax revenues and slower growth.

    A never ending cycle.

  • Pingback: A Korean Shooter, Virginia Tech Massacre « GUANO ISLAND

  • http://www.occidentalism.org shakuhachi

    If this is true (along with a professor saying there was “concern” about him based on his writing and classroom demeanor) why didn’t the school authorities talk to him earlier?

    Diversity.

  • http://www.occidentalism.org shakuhachi

    The shooters parents have committed suicide.

    http://www.occidentalism.org/?p=595

  • BK

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  • http://www.freekorea.us joshua

    I think I found that wall of Jews Rhie Won Bok was talking about.

  • dogbertt

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  • user-81

    But this is largely (Baduk excepted) a left/right divide, just like taxes. The knee-jerk reaction is “more gun control will equal less crime,” but the reality is that’s a myth.

    Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid warned against a rush to judgement on gun control:

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/virginia_tech_gun_control;_ylt=AqUq.Sf2f6xDOiV4KWub3eWs0NUE

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  • jodi

    I was wondering if anyone currently in the U.S. can tell me what public sentiment is like over there regarding the identity of the killer?

    In my office here in Korea, the issue has taken on a very racial and ethnicity related turn when it comes up in conversation. No one is seeing this as an act done by a disturbed individual but as a Korean whose actions will provoke anti-Korean feelings in the U.S. by Americans and whose actions will put Koreans currently in the U.S. at risk.

    I suppose it is an understandable concern but I want to know if there is any indication that that is the direction things are going in over there right now.

    Judging from the reports I’m reading in the news, the racial and ethnic identity of the killer is simply a fact and nothing else. But being that I feel so far removed from what is being said in the States offline and not to the media, I am curious if the killer’s race and ethinicity are being treated as anything more than just facts at this point? Have there been hints of anti-Korean sentiments over there?

    Thanks.

  • michael

    Richardson, it’s a cultural thing, many nations have high gun ownership and low murder rates, like the Swiss and Canadians, while our country has gun homicide through the roof. Are you saying the status quo is acceptable?

    Also, I don’t particularly have “emotional” associations with guns–my father was a Marine and I have shot/hunted with pistols and rifles and have a healthy respect for their proper use.

  • wjk

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  • michael

    “A Virginia Tech spokeswoman who appeared at the news conference denied that Cho’s parents, who live in Virginia, had committed suicide.

    She said some media had erroneously reported that the couple, who moved to the U.S. in the 1990s, had killed themselves.

    She emphasized that both are very much alive.”

    http://ciproud.com/content/fulltext/?sid=a552ddbd53e6aa5bb187b13bab7f3698&cid=1997

  • wjk

    what’s so wrong about pointing out an American phenomenon that anyone can readily see outside the major US cities?

    “What country are you from?”

    “I mean your original country.”

    “What’s your name?”

    “I mean your REAL name.”

    These folks get this awe strucken look when I ask them what country they are originally from. Then, they get puzzled and finally understand, and say things like Oh, mostly German, some Irish, blah, blah, etc.

    Dude, it’s out there and it’s wrong.

    Judging by the over represntation % wise of our group in US higher universities (it’s not 2% of the student body, like the population %), East Asians provide high intel service in society and still get the diss in some aspects.

  • dogbertt

    East Asians provide high intel service in society and still get the diss in some aspects.

    So are you saying that what Cho did is payback?

    I can’t believe you are comparing the insensitivity of someone asking where you’re from (which is done in good will) with this tragedy.

    Can you not see how offensive that is?

    I think now might be a good time to choose one’s words with a little care and empathy for the actual victims here (who are not Korean-American society, despite news reports to the contrary).

  • seoulmilk

    this is a tragic event and my prayers and condolences go out to the family. i haven’t read all the comments but shouldn’t politics (gun control issue) and petty arguments about race or who’s right/wrong be set aside for another day?

    has there been any report about the parents of this guy?

  • Netizen Kim

    I was wondering if anyone currently in the U.S. can tell me what public sentiment is like over there regarding the identity of the killer?

    In my office here in Korea, the issue has taken on a very racial and ethnicity related turn when it comes up in conversation. No one is seeing this as an act done by a disturbed individual but as a Korean whose actions will provoke anti-Korean feelings in the U.S. by Americans and whose actions will put Koreans currently in the U.S. at risk.

    Jodi, it seems that the only ones who are obsessing over the fact that he was Korean, Asian, or whatever are are kyopo and other Asian-Americans. All the usual “how will this make us look?” hand-wringing. Personally, I find it small-minded and pathetic. I say this as a kyopo myself.

    I find it equally ridiculous that native Koreans in Korea are worried about how this might affect US-Korea relations and so forth. I understand that a Korean embassy even issued an apology. If they are so worried about the killer’s Korean-ness being a factor then they certainly aren’t helping matters any by deliberately emphasizing it by taking official responsibility for it.

    The only problem I have is too many headlines do keep saying “South Korean” to describe the gunman, as if he were a fresh-off-the-boat foreigner who just arrived recently. This guy is a pure kyopo, who majored in English Literature and has been living in the US since an early age. Not an international student on a student visa or anything like that. But I guess that’s a subtle distinction that only a kyopo would know.

  • Wedge

    #193: “In my office here in Korea, the issue has taken on a very racial and ethnicity related turn when it comes up in conversation. No one is seeing this as an act done by a disturbed individual but as a Korean whose actions will provoke anti-Korean feelings in the U.S. by Americans and whose actions will put Koreans currently in the U.S. at risk.”

    I think that’s what would here if a foreigner did the same (just look at the accident of 2002), so consider it as projection. Other than a few snide comments as mentioned above, I doubt there will be any backlash.

  • http://www.occidentalism.org shakuhachi

    MARMOT’S NOTE: Just in case I haven’t made this perfectly clear—and I believe I have down below, but just in case—the fact that the shooter is Korean is, ultimately, irrelevant. He was a sick kid. Period. You can talk try to read into this tragedy cultural factors all you like (and I’m afraid that’s going to happen both in the United States and here in Korea), but the fact remains that there are 100,000 Korean students in the United States, not to mention about 1 million Korean-Americans, many of whom share the same cultural background as the shooter, and NONE of them have shot up their schools. The overwhelming majority, in fact, are upstanding members of their academic and residential communities. Cho Seung-hui is about as representative of the Korean community as the Columbine shooters were of the white community, that is to say, he’s not. In fact, if there is any group that seems “predisposed” to this sort of violence in the United States, it’s not foreign Asian students, it’s white males.

    Robert, your note is gratuitous and unfair. I still have not seen any commentary anywhere that suggests that this incident happened because the shooter was a Korean. It is also wrong for you to try to defend Koreans by pointing the finger at another ethnic group. Whites happen to be the majority population in the US, and thus would make up the majority of these kinds of shootings in the US. Just like the majority of shooters in Korea would be Koreans. Anyway, I think that what you wrote is flawed an unhelpful. A more principled “Marmot’s Note” would simply be one of sadness for this unprecedented tragedy.

  • http://www.seoulsteves.blogspot.com Vacilando

    [quote]“What country are you from?”

    “I mean your original country.”[/quote]

    On my first day of grad school I witnessed this type of exchange between an African-American man and Asian-American woman. Quite painful to watch on my part, but both of them eventually became close friends of mine as well as friends with each other. After getting to know him, I don’t believe the man had any negative intentions toward her. He just lacked the knowledge of how to tactfully find out a person’s background in a small-talk environment.

    There’s a lot of ignorance in the US and I can understand how it can be offensive. However, not ALL of it is mean spirited, meant to degrade, etc. It’s just, simply, ignorance. Ignorance is regrettable, yes, but ultimately the first stage of learning (so long as it’s not willful ignorance). I’d like to humbly suggest it is more effectively countered with education than vindictiveness. Progress is made by building bridges, not knocking them down.

  • seoulmilk

    i meant families.

  • http://eflgeek.com EFL Geek

    #179 wrote:

    http://www.rjkoehler.com/2007/04/17/virginia-tech-shooter-a-korean-student-report/

    could someone translate this or explain it?

  • http://eflgeek.com EFL Geek

    #179 wrote:

    http://agoraplaza.media.daum.net/petition/petition.do?action=view&no=26899&cateNo=242&boardNo=26899

    could someone translate this or explain it?

    woops fixed the link

  • wjk

    dogbertt on 198,

    No.

    I think you completely misunderstood what I was trying to say.

    #
    dogbertt your flag
    Posted April 18, 2007 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    East Asians provide high intel service in society and still get the diss in some aspects.

    So are you saying that what Cho did is payback?

    I can’t believe you are comparing the insensitivity of someone asking where you’re from (which is done in good will) with this tragedy.

    Can you not see how offensive that is?

    I think now might be a good time to choose one’s words with a little care and empathy for the actual victims here (who are not Korean-American society, despite news reports to the contrary).

    I’m not comparing what you think I’m comparing.

    My only comparison is how the American public reacts when, say the Columbine kids or McVeigh is caught doing it versus this situation.

    By the way, did McVeigh’s or the Columbine kid’s parents consider suicide? Why the suicide report on Cho’s parents?

    NO parent should see their children die before them.

    That said, a lot of V-Tech people died because of Cho. Cho deserves to be hated. Hate him. Not an ethinic group in America. Hate him. Not his parents.

    I hope all the injured recover without any permanent nerve or muscle damages.

    And I hope all the dead are in a better place.

    It’s terrible to watch parents grieving over their fallen children.

    Something like this should never happen again anywhere.

  • http://www.icebergkorea.com Iceberg

    @#206

    It’s a expression of regret and sorrow to the victims. The writer is especially troubled that it came at the hands of a Korean national. He/she requests that people sign the petition as a way of collectively expressing their sympathy.

  • http://mindphysical.blogspot.com/ empraptor

    usinkorea #35

    And from a different angle, looking back at how the bloodbath on Arab-looking individuals didn’t happen after 9/11 like I fully expected, i don’t think Koreans have to worry much in the US.

    There was a lot of violence against arabs in Dearborn after 9/11.

    But I wouldn’t expect spike in violence against Asians. This doesn’t even compare to 9/11 in scale. I do expect that people will get weird stares and whispers behind their back.

  • Seth Gecko

    “Robert, your note is gratuitous and unfair.”

    I agree, and came to post the same thing, but was beat to it.

  • http://eflgeek.com EFL Geek

    #208 THanks Iceberg.

  • http://rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler

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  • moobob

    Thinking gun control would prevent something like this is ridiculous.

    If anything, having more people on campus with concealed carry permits could have put a stop to it. Someone that decides to shoot 30 odd people isn’t waking up thinking about gun laws. If I really wanted a gun, I could get one. Even in Korea… Only law-abiding citizens follow the law.

    Americans have guns because our history began in revolution. An armed citizenry keeps the government in check. Unfortunately, this is changing… especially as the “Sheeple” use incidents like this to advocate more gun control. Guess what? The sheepdogs (police, military) will very rarely be there to protect you, and the wolves have will always have free reign.

  • Netizen Kim

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  • snow

    Not being used to guns as they’re not readily available in Canada, I’d still say that if I were one of those students in the locked building, I would definitely have wanted to have my own gun on me. Students must have felt horribly helpless knowing that some crazed gunman was coming for them and they had nothing to protect themselves. Where were the security guards or anybody? Nobody on campus had a gun, not even security?

  • mins0306

    This is a time of mourning for the people affected by this tragedy and for this of us in the sidelines, it is a time for sending condolences to those affected.

    This is not a time for unloading whatever racial thoughts we have inside our heads.

  • http://www.slate.com/id/2164659/

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  • http://hojupjimong.wordpress.com/ JiMong

    #206

    It’s a link to a daum.net

    A korean netizen requested that people sign the petition as a way of collectively expressing their sympathy toward the victims.

  • http://www.occidentalism.org shakuhachi

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  • snow

    Oops, didn’t quite say it clearly in my last post.

    I’m not sure that I like the idea of complete and free availability of guns (a la the wild west), but I certainly would have wanted to have a gun if I had been one of those poor students trapped in that building.

    And as stated by others, my condolences to the injured and the families of those killed. A sad and tragic event.

  • http://www.japanprobe.com James

    “Thank you! Shakuhachi aka Matt of Occidentalism – who continues to have pictures of an innocent Virginia Tech student as the “possible perp” of the shootings on his blog, giving advice on “principled blogging”. That’s rich.”

    Don’t forget to mention BoingBoing and Drudgereport, which also jumped on that guy’s blog (Boingboing still had the photos up last time I checked).

  • kimcheeone

    I heard on the Korean news here in LA that the father committed suicide and the mother attempted suicide. More sad news…

  • http://rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler

    You note is still unfair, and based on flawed logic and finger pointing that you are trying to prevent. You cannot ask people not to point the finger while you are doing the same thing. I do not think I am the only person that feels this way.

    So be it, shakuhachi.

  • http://hojupjimong.wordpress.com/ JiMong

    Oops! You already answered, Iceberg. Thanks.

    Anyhow, an awful tragedy like this massacre is an unpredictable and completely without comprehension. Too bad that no one could have predicted or been prepared for this tragedy. Who could predict it? It just beyond my understanding…

    AS mins0306 pointed I also think it is a time for sending condolences to those affected.

    And we should all be thankful that we do not have to deal with it, we only have to view it from afar and shake our heads.

  • cm

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  • http://www.occidentalism.org shakuhachi

    So be it, shakuhachi.

    Anyway, my apologies if I have overstepped my bounds and spoken in turn, Robert. It is your blog.

  • michael

    kimcheeone–maybe you missed it up there, I posted a report that said Cho’s parents did not commit suicide.

    Here’s another:
    http://bbsnews.net/article.php/20070417193523830

    Marmot, I know where you’re coming from–your point is well taken. Never mind the haters, as they say.

  • michael

    A couple of links, first about the family and reaction in S.K.:
    http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2007/04/18/asia/AS-GEN-SKorea-US-University-Shooting.php

    Second shootings occured as the campus police fillowed up on wrog lead:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/18/us/18virginia.html?hp

  • Newton Kabiddles

    Yeah, well, the fact that ANYONE is Korean is ultimately irrelevant.

  • dogbertt

    The only thing about Robert’s note, it would be great if he would tweak it a bit and translate it into Korean and then post it everytime a GI or English teacher committed a crime in Korea.

  • dogbertt

    jk wrote:

    Those Korean commenters you referred to in #16 are no more “typical” Koreans

    Of course, you have no way of knowing that — you’re not omniscient after all.

    It occurs to me that both the Joongang Ilbo and the Korea Times _regularly_ include in news articles online quotes from “Netizens”, quoting them by their IDs. Evidently, the Korean media has a different idea.

    Oh, and thinking about Robert’s note again, I do agree that Cho is not representative of Koreans. But it is a fact that we always hear Koreans credit folks like Michelle Wie or Korean students who get perfect SAT scores as being the result of “Korean values”. Yet, the truth is Michelle Wie is actually also one in a million whose success is due to her own hard work and talent, not “Korean values”.

  • Nappunsaram

    wjk:
    “What country are you from?”

    “I mean your original country.”

    “What’s your name?”

    “I mean your REAL name.”

    There’s one reason for all of us to calm down about anti-Korean sentiment. As someone else already pointed out, a lot of us white people in America can’t tell the difference between Asian ethnicities (whether you think this is reprehensible is another argument), and maybe I’m an ignoramus, but I don’t think I could have pointed to South Korea on a map before I was offered a job here. There was a post here not to long ago about the the portrayal of a Korean store owner in the movie Crash when the part was supposed to be a Chinese man. If anything, I would think there would be a rise in the harassment of “Asians,” not Koreans in particular.

    Also, for anyone who even suggests it was a white hate thing, you can give the guy credit for being an equal opportunity murderer. His victims were old, young, white, black, Asian, Jewish, and Indian from what I’ve seen so far. I would think anything directed against whites would have resulted in fewer minority victims, especially another Korean student.

  • FiRe

    hey BADUK!

    You say you’re not justifying what he’s doing but you ARE. Just read what you’re saying. You’re trying to make up reasons of why he would do such a thing. Looks like you sympathy for this pathetic piece of shit. You have NO IDEA why he did it so stop coming to conclusions about a situation you know NOTHING about.

  • dogbertt

    Naver is reporting that a half-Korean student wounded in the massacre has now died.

    http://news.naver.com/news/read.php?mode=LSS2D&office_id=052&article_id=0000148894&section_id=104&section_id2=232&menu_id=104

  • snow

    I certainly hope that this tragedy doesn’t spark a frenzy of hatred or incidents against Koreans in the US. This shooter was a loser, pure and simple, no matter what nationality.

    [Rest of comment deleted at commenter's request: Robert]

  • Simone_

    Re: Korea, Sparkling

    I just heard that there was to be a huge rollout of ads for TODAY in the US.

    They were all pulled. No refunds. The KTO’s just going to suck it up.

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  • http://koreanamerican431.blogspot.com/ baduk

    FiRe,

    I have similar background as Cho. Yes, I feel sympathy toward him.

    As I wrote before, if he had stayed in Korea, he might have turned out to be a fine person. He would have been incorporated into the “mainstream” of society.

    However, in US he had too many problems. Language problem, racism, money, different skin color, shyness, etc. Why did he choose English as his major, I have no idea. He had chosen the worst major for himself. I bet he was getting C’s. If he had chosen accounting or hotel management, he might have been OK. He had poor vocabulary. Many who have read his plays thought that it was written by a junior high school student.

    His life was hard. His grades were poor and he had no future. And, he had no friend. He felt he did not deserve to live. No reason to live. A failure at 23. He befriended a beautiful girl but she made it clear that she did not want him. He had nothing to live for.

    He shot everyone.

    My brother brought an interesting point. It is known that those anti-deprescent pills have side effects. Sometimes it can make the patients very violent. Some explode as Cho did.

  • a-letheia

    Marmot: the fact that the shooter is Korean is, ultimately, irrelevant. He was a sick kid. Period. You can talk try to read into this tragedy cultural factors all you like … but the fact remains that there are 100,000 Korean students in the United States, not to mention about 1 million Korean-Americans, many of whom share the same cultural background as the shooter, and NONE of them have shot up their schools.”

    That is similar to what I said about Hines Ward, but nobody listened. When a Korean does something great lets remember that there are lots and lots of mediocre Korean nobodies in the US who never did anything unusual. After all, most great great NFL players are Black. Hence, “Koreaness” has nothing to do with it.

  • dogbertt

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  • FiRe

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  • FiRe

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  • FiRe

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  • a-letheia

    Although marmot seems to think “Koreaness” has nothing to do with this kids mindset, I find nothing offensive in Baduk’s speculating. While maybe Baduk Baduk is terse (I think we can expect that), as a Korean-American he has some insights into the kid’s head.

  • michael

    Stop speculating and read the facts:
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/04/17/AR2007041700563.html?hpid=topnews

    Have some respect for the dead and injured.

  • Irrawaddy

    I suspect that when all is said and done, someone will have missed the pile of twinkie wrappers in this kid’s wastebasket. Just glad this wasn’t done by some psychotic vet back from the war.

  • estebanko

    Robert, I for one thank you for being objective and impartial on this matter. Liberal vs. Republican, White vs Non-Whites, Japanese vs Korean, political agenda pushing is getting out of control.

  • http://koreanamerican431.blogspot.com/ baduk

    I cry about the victims. I feel so sad. I felt depressed a whole day.

    I am not condoning his action. It is so horrendous. So savage. So destructive.

    Yet, I do not simply want to dismiss him as a sick and mad man. I want to understand him. Like the Son of Sam. He was disliked by girls. That is why he went around shooting a couple making out in a car.

    Cho was heavily depressed. He listened to Gun’s and Roses. He saw cheap horror movies. His English was poor. He did not speak in his classes. He felt isolated. He had no friend.

    I know some of you expats are going through similar experiences in Korea as a minority.

    I am not blaming the US society for Cho’s problems. Yet, I do blame the society for letting Cho carry out his sinister plan. I think people’s freedom to own guns should have limits.

    Can the US face another tragedy like this? Columbine occurred a few years ago. Should we expect another shootout like this a couple of years later? How about next year?

    I heard that California does a better job than Virginia. Cho would have to wait for one month prior to getting his gun. In Virgina, he got it that day. California does more background check.

    Instead of saying “what can we do?”, let’s do something about it. I have two kids attending college. I don’t want them to die like these kids did.

  • snow

    This guy was a loser and a completely selfish a**hole. He could have chosen to take all the problems and suffering he had and turn it into something positive. As pointed out by so many, the vast majority of Korean-Americans are doing quite well. Instead, he took a wrong turn.

    This guy deserves no excuses nor no pity whatsoever. He is yet another example of extreme narcissistic selfishness. Seems a common trait with violent criminals. He didn’t give a crap about anyone or anything. His own feelings were the only important thing in the world to him.

    I do feel sorry for his family, though.

  • FiRe

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  • Pingback: More on the VT shooting... « m a r k a n d e y a

  • http://koreanamerican431.blogspot.com/ baduk

    The word I am looking for is “Adjustment”.

    Some do adjust to his/her surroundings when one gets moved from one environment to another. Going from Korea to America is quite a change as many of you who made it in the reverse direction would attest to.

    Some do adjust while others do not. Cho’s sister is doing well. Cho was not. It may have something to do with ability to pick up language. Language is so important to one’s self-esteem.

    Again, I wonder why Cho chose English as his major. It is like a dwarf choosing basketball as his sport. Tragedy waiting to happen.

    Thank, Michael, for good links.

    I hope and pray all you expats do find a good surroundings in Korea and your Korean expriences be enjoyable ones. And, don’t go killing Koreans at random because your hate toward some Koreans. It is so unfair to take out your feeling on innocent victims.

  • http://www.japanprobe.com James

    After reading that Washington Post article michael posted, I’m somewhat confused about the girlfriend thing. It doesn’t sound like he had a girlfriend at all.

  • dogbertt

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  • FiRe

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  • seoulmilk

    here’s one local angle from korean americans in seattle.

    http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/312031_korean18.html

  • snow

    “It doesn’t sound like he had a girlfriend at all.”

    I suspect that she was some beauty he loved from afar and he somehow believed that she secretly loved him, though she may have never met him before.

  • Fantasy

    Oranckay:

    May I politely request you to delete H. Kim’s comment #108, as it is a personal attack. The German text which H. Kim put there reads in translation:

    “You asshole, do me the favour, shut up and fuck off.”

    I think this statement of H. Kim’s speaks for itself. No further comment necessary…

  • snow

    Seoulmilk, interesting take on the whole thing, but I find it ridiculous that Koreans or Korean-Americans feel the need to apologize for the actions of this loser. There is absolutely no way that any Korean should apologize for this!

    There would be not a chance in hell that I would ever apologize for the actions of some white Canadian male with French blood, despite being all three (I think that mass murderer in Montreal might have been this-Marc Lepine, who is hopefully rotting in hell). Guilt should be felt by those who commit wrong acts. Other apologies are bizarre and absolutely unnecessary.

  • globalvillageidiot

    “Robert, I for one thank you for being objective and impartial on this matter. Liberal vs. Republican, White vs Non-Whites, Japanese vs Korean, political agenda pushing is getting out of control.”

    I couldn’t agree more when it comes to this story.

  • dogbertt

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  • Fantasy

    “In America, the whites view non-whites as “them”.

    In the ROK they view you as “them.”

    I didn’t say either was right.

    Both are wrong.”

    # 195.

    WJK:

    Yes, I fully agree that such attitudes exist on both sides of the Pacific.

    But, as a Non-White (though Caucasian), who used to live in various Western countries (Germany, France, Britain, and Canada among them), as well as in Korea, I can confidently say that the extent to which I was perceived as “the other” varied considerably in the different countries – and was incomparably lower in the afore-mentioned Western countries than in the ROK.

    By the way, in Singapore, where I spent my teenage years, I never felt as “the other” in any way. Which is why regard Singapore as my real “native” country, although I hold a German passport and am of Romanian descent…

  • bluetranslator

    The responses by the two national medias are quite interesting. The American media has apparently chosen the route of exoticizing Cho as a “South Korean national” in the United States as a student. Of course, racism and xenophilia rear their ugly heads whenever push comes to shove, and I expected nothing less from the American media. It is fascinating as how they’re reporting his name too, as Cho Seung-hui (in a traditional Korean order) rather than as Seung Cho or Seung-hui Cho (with the family name coming last as all Koreans do when they move to the States) as he apparently referred to himself. I mean, they don’t refer to the Korean-American actress Yunjin Kim as Kim Yunjin, do they?

    The fact is that this kid was 8 years old when he immigrated to the US with his family. So Baduk, I do not understand why you presume that he had poor English. Have you even actually read some of this kid’s writings? His plays did not have particularly sophisticated vocabulary, but his linguistic abilities were clearly at least on par with typical American college students. And besides, I can attest to you that as a Korean male who immigrated to the States at almost 12 years old and majored in literature, this kid was not like a midget trying to play basketball.

    Any linguistic expert will tell you that a child who moves to another culture before the age of around 11 or 12 can acquire the new language at a native or very close to native efficiency.

    If anything, this particular AP article written by a journalist of Korean background provides much insight to Cho’s family background.
    http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/ap/world/4725036.html

    Here’s a telling excerpt from the article.

    “Cho Seung-Hui’s family lived in a Seoul suburb in a rented basement apartment — usually the cheapest in a multi-unit building, landlord Lim Bong-ae, 67, told Chosun Ilbo, South Korea’s largest newspaper.

    “I didn’t know what (Cho’s father) did for a living. But they lived a poor life,” Lim told the newspaper. “While emigrating, (Cho’s father) said they were going to America because it is difficult to live here and that it’s better to live in a place where he is unknown.”

    Does that sound like a father who would have instilled much self-confidence or self-esteem in his son? Cho’s father felt disenfranchised in his own country. Pretty powerful revelation, if you ask me.

    But I do applaud Baduk’s efforts to understand the killer’s tortured mind. Because the only way we will be able to help prevent such horrors from occurring in the future is to understand the conditions that foster such horrors.

  • dogbertt

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  • Fantasy

    Dogbertt, # 230:

    “The only thing about Robert’s note, it would be great if he would tweak it a bit and translate it into Korean and then post it everytime a GI or English teacher committed a crime in Korea.”

    Exactly my thinking…

  • FiRe

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  • Newton Kabiddles

    baduk wrote: “However, in US he had too many problems. Language problem, racism, money, different skin color, shyness, etc…”

    baduk, what are you doing? We don’t know anything about Cho. Are you just trolling for kicks?

  • http://www.sperwerslog.com Sperwer

    You can talk try to read into this tragedy cultural factors all you like ….

    In fact, if there is any group that seems “predisposed” to this sort of violence in the United States, it’s not foreign Asian students, it’s white males.

    You really have drunk too much of the local Kool-Aid.

  • iheartblueballs

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  • a-letheia

    Bluetranslator: “Of course, racism and xenophilia rear their ugly heads whenever push comes to shove, and I expected nothing less from the American media. It is fascinating as how they’re reporting his name too, as Cho Seung-hui (in a traditional Korean order) rather than as Seung Cho or Seung-hui Cho (with the family name coming last as all Koreans do when they move to the States) as he apparently referred to himself. I mean, they don’t refer to the Korean-American actress Yunjin Kim as Kim Yunjin, do they?”

    Care to clarify how that is racism and/or xenophobia? Just ridiculous.

  • Pingback: The Marmot’s Hole » What the hell are you apologizing for?

  • bluetranslator

    I’ll tell you why I think that there is at least a xenophobic bent to the coverage in the American media. Every major headline has included the words “South Korean national” and has printed his name not as Cho himself used it in the States or as it would’ve been seen on any legal papers in the States. You may think that whether he’s referred to as Cho Seung-hui or Seung Cho (as he wrote his name on his college papaers), but it is an important distinction as to how an ethnic Asian defines his or her identity. And what I’ve stated is that however subtle as it may seem, the coverage by the US media has been xenophobic and racist.

    My point, to reiterate, is that they are DE-AMERICANIZING the kid. He may technically have been a South Korean citizen, but he was in essence a suburban American kid who happened to have immigrated to this country at a young age. They’re making him seem like a FOREIGNER with an exotic name, when he grew up speaking English since the age of 8 in a DC suburb. One of THEM, in a nutshell.

    And by the way, the US does NOT have an unrestricted immigration policy. Please, give me a break. And his family came here as LEGAL immigrants. He was a legal permanent resident. For whatever reason, he never chose to go through the naturalization process. I’ve lived in the States for some 20 years now as a legal permanent resident, and I’ve chosen not to get naturalized. It’s a personal choice. Legal residents do everything US citizens do except vote and serve on jury duty. Shame on you for trying to turn this into a rallying point for the anti-immigration cause. Talk about demagoguery.

  • seoulmilk

    i for one don’t always agree with iheartblueballs, but what he just wrote is exactly how i feel and what i want to say to koreans. i really don’t won’t to get involved with who’s right/wrong and about the two societies, but blueballs said what needed to be said. but he needs to point this out to koreans as well on naver. can anybody translate it and post it up there?

  • peninsular aborigine

    Yes. Yes. Sophisticated Americans would know that Cho Seung-hui was a Korean but Seung-hui Cho is obviously an American. Would that they did.

  • http://rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler

    You really have drunk too much of the local Kool-Aid.

    Perhaps

    Shame on you for trying to turn this into a rallying point for the anti-immigration cause. Talk about demagoguery.

    Who are you referring to?

  • FiRe

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  • dogbertt

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  • dogbertt

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  • Fantasy

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  • Newton Kabiddles

    If I were in charge of VT and this happened I would be concerned about some idiot retaliating against the “East Asian” students. I’m not projecting something from “my culture”, it’s just something we must consider.

  • Fantasy

    Newton Kabiddles:

    I agree to some extent with you that there is such a possibility – my wife (a ROK national) is worried to some extent about this danger, as well. But then, it is the Korean, not the Caucasian, side who is usually fuelling the ethnic tensions in the ROK, in Germany, and elsewhere…

  • Fantasy

    My wife (a Korean medical student in Germany) just told me on the phone that the Yuhaksaeng over there are fêting the killer as a national hero…

  • bluetranslator

    First of all, why is it that some people have to resort to ad hominem attacks just because they don’t happen to agree with other people’s opinions?

    What I said was that every headline that identified the killer said “South Korean national”, and I don’t see what his technical nationality has anything to do with it. And the deliberate “Orientalizing” of the order of his name, in a way that never would have been used in the States is troubling. If you think that most of these elites in the media do not really know the difference, you are fooling yourselves.

    And I have never tried to exonerate Cho for the crimes he committed. I’d never even try. Ultimately an individual has to be held responsible for their own actions, and in a way that is all that can ever be truly said about it. You can look for biological predispositions or environmental factors, but in the end all we can do is hold individuals culpable for the crimes they commit. And I can go on and on about how I think that his Korean background may have contributed to his psychological breakdown. In fact, I am not particularly rosy in my assessment of contemporary Korean culture at all. But that was not the issue I was addressing. I was specifically addressing the reaction of the US media in regards to the killer’s identity.

  • Newton Kabiddles

    I think the Asian-American reaction to worry about retaliation is normal. To say their concern is a reflection/projection of THEIR culture is bigotry. All of us worry about this type of thing. This is not unique to East Asian culture.

    “…it is the Korean, not the Caucasian, side who is usually fuelling the ethnic tensions in the ROK…”

    I don’t know if that is true. And how does that relate to the topic?

  • peninsular aborigine

    Now it’s “Orientalism” to use Korean name order. God I hate Edward Said who, of course, was talking about the Middle East.

    PS: Why do we say Chinese names properly and Korean, Japanese, and … names improperly?

  • bluetranslator

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  • Fantasy

    “…it is the Korean, not the Caucasian, side who is usually fuelling the ethnic tensions in the ROK…”

    I don’t know if that is true. And how does that relate to the topic?

    Newton Kabiddles:

    I did not only mention the ROK, but also other countries where large Korean minorities exist. My (Korean) wife is somewhat scared of a backlash herself, but she is aware that, if such a backlash were indeed to occur it would be partly due to the persistent race baiting by the Koreans (and this term in my terminology means only Korean nationals, not Gyopo with a foreign passport and a different cultural background) in the respective countries. It is not difficult to imagine that this makes them extremely unpopular…

  • bluetranslator

    Yes, Said, in his book, used “orientalism” to refer specifically to the Middle East, but the term can be and is now often used to refer to all of Asia. “something considered characteristic of the people of west, east, or central Asia.” as defined by Oxford English Dictionary. :)

  • Fantasy

    “See, what happened with this Korean-American kid did was a sick twisted act of a lone individual. In fact one Korean-American out of about a million Korean-Americans…”

    Bluetranslator:

    Yes, that is 100 pc correct – but why was I viciously attacked by a large group of Yuhaksaeng in Britain in 1991 when a Korean langauage student had been murdered by a rapist in Germany. And, btw, although I’m German, I am not even “White”…

  • komtengi

    http://occidentalism.org/

    yet again the insensitivity of many Koreans is shown in the cartoons here. scroll down for a look

  • abcdefg

    Anyone who mentions Hines Ward in a post loses all his credibility. Also, Koreans are not the only group fearing backlash.

    We’re not talking about united American front. We’re talking this event mobilizing the set of racists and “bad apples” that already exist in America.

  • Wedge

    To those making an issue of the guy’s name as it appears in the press: Get over it. The AP Style Guide (and probably NYT) says the names of South Korean nationals are to be rendered thus: Kim Young-sam. The scrote was legally a South Korean national, so they’re just following the ol’ style book, no xenophobia (or xenophilia ;-) #262) intended.

  • http://www.occidentalism.org shakuhachi

    My wife (a Korean medical student in Germany) just told me on the phone that the Yuhaksaeng over there are fêting the killer as a national hero…

    Really? How shocking. By over there, you mean in the US, right?

  • …….

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  • Fantasy

    “Really? How shocking. By over there, you mean in the US, right?”

    No, Matt/Shak, read my comment with care and you will see that I mean Germany – there is no reference to the US in my post.

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    Strange that I suddenly get attacked by you – still have to get used to that…

    Never mind.

  • Newton Kabiddles

    Fantasy

    (any country, okay, I was not trying to manipulate your post)

    I think I understand your idea but I’m not sure.
    Are you saying that overseas Koreans nationals are more likely to feel threatened in this present situation because of their general behaviour and attitudes about racism? That if, for example, the shooter was Turkish, the Turkish students would not feel the same way?

  • http://www.occidentalism.org ,….

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  • bluetranslator

    Omg, I did put xenophilia instead of xenophobia, lol. Wow, what an ass… well, you know what I meant. Accidentally replacing a word with another that means the complete opposite…. sigh

  • Newton Kabiddles

    An American goes insane and somehow kills a bunch Korean students at Sogang University. The next day other innocent Americans students in Korea feel they might be randomly attacked by Koreans. Why?
    Is that somehow different than Asian students at Virginia Tech thinking the same thing?

  • http://www.sperwerslog.com Sperwer

    Marmot wrote:

    You really have drunk too much of the local Kool-Aid.

    Perhaps

    1. You castigate those who might want to draw conclusions on the basis of cultural factors.

    2. You then proceed to do just that, castigating young white males.

    Perhaps? QED.

  • bluetranslator

    But in a way, you helped me make my argument. The thing is that the media had a choice in how to present his name. 1) In the fashion reserved for Korean nationals as in Kim Young-sam 2) In the fashion reserved for Korean-Americans as in Yun-jin Kim.

    But even though the killer used his name in the Korean-American fashion as Seung Hui Cho, the American media almost universally uses Cho Seung-hui. It’s just strange why they’d present his name in the Korean way rather than the American way.

  • http://www.occidentalism.org shakuhachi

    But even though the killer used his name in the Korean-American fashion as Seung Hui Cho, the American media almost universally uses Cho Seung-hui. It’s just strange why they’d present his name in the Korean way rather than the American way.

    His name order is in the Korean manner because he is a South Korean national, not a Korean American. I do not think it is strange at all that the media should not care how a mass murderer used his name. He may have used it in the manner of the locals, but he was a foreign national.

    Since nationality in America is decided by government fiat, the government decides who is American and who is not. No matter how many years he lived in America, without the piece of paper, he is not an American.

  • Fantasy

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  • Wedge

    #299: But he WAS a Korean national, not a Korean-American, so there’s no choice.

  • MrChips

    Thank God for blueballs…er…in a manner of speaking.

    I’m at a loss for why people would decry the use of “South Korean” in a byline or headline. Seems to me there is an enormous expectation here that a national label carries social implications everywhere. But, an awful lot of people throughout this thread seem to be saying that the American media ought to be fully cognizant of the, frankly, unhealthy sense of personal implication many Koreans might feel simply from this man being called South Korean while not understanding that Americans don’t feel an ounce of guilt for what one wacko American might do in another country. “I didn’t do it so I ain’t gonna feel guilty.” If an American commits a crime in another country and that countries media prints headlines with “American does such-and-such” big whuppdy do!! That’s what is is and I don’t care; doesn’t impact my sense of guilt one single bit. It’s when the media starts saying “Koreans are like this” or “Americans are like this” that there comes a reason for concern. So far, all I have seen is accurate labeling of this man as a foreign national who comes from South Korea. Get over the whole “we’re all americans” crap! A distinguishing feature is his coming from Korea. I would expect the response from other Koreans in America to say “so what” and not to bellyache about the use of “South Korea” in a byline. I mean really, has anyone heard any American media member ask “what part of Korean culture might have caused this” or “what might other Koreans do next?” Not me.

  • Wedge

    Addendum to #302: Maybe I need to add the personal preference of the person being named doesn’t enter into it.

  • abcdefg

    Just now I heard “Jeong Seong Wee” on a tv.

  • Fantasy

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  • H. Kim

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  • cm

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  • Fantasy

    “Are you saying that overseas Koreans nationals are more likely to feel threatened in this present situation because of their general behaviour and attitudes about racism? That if, for example, the shooter was Turkish, the Turkish students would not feel the same way?”

    Newton Kabiddles:

    I am saying that, to some extent, the Yuhaksaeng are projecting their own xenophobia and aversion against people of other races onto the people around them, whom they believe to have the same aversion against them as they have against these people.

    Okay, maybe that is so only in Germany…

  • seouldout

    blueballs, re #268, that’s one helluva comment. Well put.

  • railwaycharm

    #63 Baduk, Americans have had guns in the home since day one. The differnce today is personal responsability.

  • http://www.japanprobe.com James

    Another masterpiece from iheartblueballs. Do you have a blog?

  • Ut videam

    #297-

    An American goes insane and somehow kills a bunch Korean students at Sogang University. The next day other innocent Americans students in Korea feel they might be randomly attacked by Koreans. Why?

    Oh, I don’t know, maybe the extensive history of such attacks in the wake of incidents such as the 2002 armored vehicle accident?

    Is that somehow different than Asian students at Virginia Tech thinking the same thing?

    Yup. Because in the Land of the Morning Calm there’s a history of that sort of thing. As iheartblueballs put it so well, the fears are projection.

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  • Fantasy

    “I think that’s a bunch of horse shit. No one is thinking like that other than a some expats in Korea. Expats are projecting thier anger about some shit in Korea.”

    Newton:

    Let’s settle this issue by the conclusion that there is some quite serious shit in the ROK (and I, and other expatriates, have experienced it) – and there is some really serious shit in Germany, as well. And nobody is denying that there is also some very, very serious shit in the US.

    I do, however, uphold my contention that Koreans (and when I say “Koreans” I mean those born and bred in the ROK, respectively the DRPK) due to their Confucianist upbringing are more likely to take events such as the Virginia Massacre as issues with relevance to their entire group, whereas we Westerners (and this includes Caucasians, Asians, Blacks, Browns brought up in Western countries such as the US, Canada, Australia, Britain, France, or Sweden) generally do not think this way.

    You see, back in 1991 when I was student in Britain, I heard about a young Korean lady being raped and murdered in Berlin. I felt sorry for her but did not expect that the crime would affect my own life in any way. I was (and still am) a German national, but I had left Germany in 1974, I had never been in Berlin, and I was not even white. So why the fuck should I worry ?

    Many Yuhaksaeng, however, very quickly made clear to me that I had reason to worry. I could only regain my safety by requesting the university to institute formal disciplinary proceedings against the culprits, with the possibility of their eviction being announced to them in the case of their continued misbehaviour.

    See my point, Newton ? This observation of mine concerns KOREANS (including Yuhaksaeng) – definitely no offence to Gyopo intended – I’ve never had much to do with Gyopo…

  • ….

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  • …….

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  • SomeguyinKorea

    So, the kid was born in South Korea/grew up in the US? Get over it (regardless of whether you are de-Americanizing or de-Koreanizing him).

    I think some people are overplaying Koreans reaction to the identity of the murderer. As much as people like to say Koreans are overly conscious of how they are perceived abroad, this won’t really affect South Koreans. For one, the fact that the kid grew up in the US allows South Koreans to distance themselves psychologically (and geographically) from him. That’s pretty much how they’ve been coping with Kim Jong Il’s infamy for years (far more blood on his hands and he and he isn’t halfway around the globe like that kid).

  • Fantasy

    Netizen Kim # 200:

    “The only problem I have is too many headlines do keep saying “South Korean” to describe the gunman, as if he were a fresh-off-the-boat foreigner who just arrived recently. This guy is a pure kyopo, who majored in English Literature and has been living in the US since an early age. Not an international student on a student visa or anything like that. But I guess that’s a subtle distinction that only a kyopo would know.”

    Here is one of the rare statements of Netizen Kim’s I can fully assent to…

  • Fantasy

    And I agree with him, even though I am definitely not a Gyopo…

  • SomeguyinKorea

    I guess it was inevitable that some would attempt to put an anti-American angle to killings in order to distance themselves from it (so, he was Korean? Get over it)…but this is just wrong…

    http://news.msn.co.kr/face/v2/photo/thema/photo.html?thema_id=143&id=200704181200058000

  • a-letheia

    “….the fact that the kid grew up in the US allows South Koreans to distance themselves psychologically (and geographically) from him.

    I wonder…

    Did this kid speak Korean?

  • http://www.eye4insanity.blogspot.com Eye4Insanity

    The news reports all over the net right now are saying Cho was known by police and did spend a little time in a mental hospital back in 2005.

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20070418.wvatech0418/BNStory/International/home

  • user-81

    Despite absolutely zero evidence of a backlash against Koreans, they can’t yell loudly enough about how afraid they are of the coming race war about to be waged against them by whitebread. Quit your goddamn hyperventilating and face reality. This is not 9/11 and you’re not Arab.

    It is not just Koreans who were concerned of backlash:

    http://www.jacl.org/Virginia_Tech.pdf:

    In this tragedy, the JACL also cautioned against reprisals against students, faculty, and others who are
    of Asian ancestry. While it has been confirmed that the gunman was Asian, there is no evidence that
    race or ethnicity of the suspected gunman had anything to do with the incident. The JACL emphasizes
    that this tragedy must be seen as the act of an individual and not that of an ethnic community.

    Re: the order of his name, not only would the American-style name order be on all his legal documents, but it appears even on his now infamous writings simply as “Seung Cho”:

    http://newsbloggers.aol.com/2007/04/17/cho-seung-huis-plays/

  • ingvy

    Baduk wrote:

    “However, he had grown up in a small town in virginia. He suffered much racism. He was judged to be less than his peers.”

    Baduk: Centerville, VA is not small town America. It is a suburb of Washington, DC! There are over 52,000 ethnic Koreans living here. In fact, white people are actually a minority in this area! There are few places in American more diverse than the Washington, DC metro area.

    Outside of the East Asian community, few people are discussing the shooter’s identity. I agree that the fear many Koreans feel is largely a projection of knowing how some (and I stress SOME) in Korea country may react to a similar tragedy should it occur in Korea. The only thing this incident says about the Korea people is: You’re no different than anybody else, and, unfortunately Korean people are just as capable of evil as anybody else.

    My biggest fear is that politicians in both countires will sieze upon idiotic statements to whip their respective publics into a frezy.

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  • wjk

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  • wjk

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  • user-81

    Despite absolutely zero evidence of a backlash against Koreans, they can’t yell loudly enough about how afraid they are of the coming race war about to be waged against them by whitebread. Quit your goddamn hyperventilating and face reality. This is not 9/11 and you’re not Arab.

    It is not just Korean Americans who are concerned about a possible backlash. From the Japanese American Citizens League:

    In this tragedy, the JACL also cautioned against reprisals against students, faculty, and others who are of Asian ancestry. While it has been confirmed that the gunman was Asian, there is no evidence that race or ethnicity of the suspected gunman had anything to do with the incident. The JACL emphasizes that this tragedy must be seen as the act of an individual and not that of an ethnic community.

    http://www.jacl.org/Virginia_Tech.pdf

  • Paul H.

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  • http://yeomso.blogspot.com/ The Goat

    In regards to the name – quit creating something that is not there.

    In regards to calling him South Korean – he is.

    Most of the accounts that I have read refer to him as a South Korean national blah blah blah raised in the United States since blah blah blah.

    Shame on the media for not lying and calling him an American. Get over it.

  • http://www.pretentiousmusings.com PretentiousMusings

    well, now what we know what the killer was doing between shootings:

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070418/ap_on_re_us/virginia_tech_shooting

    BLACKSBURG, Va. – Between his first and second bursts of gunfire, the Virginia Tech gunman mailed a package to NBC News containing pictures of him brandishing weapons and video of him delivering a diatribe about getting even with rich people.

    “This may be a very new, critical component of this investigation. We’re in the process right now of attempting to analyze and evaluate its worth,” said Col. Steve Flaherty, superintendent of Virginia State Police. He gave no details on the material, which NBC said it received in Wednesday morning’s mail.

    NBC said that a time stamp on the package indicated the material was mailed in the two-hour window between the first burst of gunfire in a high-rise dormitory and the second fusillade, at a classroom building. Thirty-three people died in the rampage, including the gunman, 23-year-old student Cho Seung-Hui, who committed suicide.

  • Maddlew

    To those of you who imagined that the students trapped in that building wished they were packing, I’m sure they did. Some of them probably were hoping that young man’s head would just suddenly explode.
    If you can imagine the circumstances in which these students would have guns I think you would agree that it wouldn’t contribute to any daily feelings of greater security. In fact, I would safely be able to say I’d never have obtained a degree and would probably be ensconced in the wonderful world of retail sales at this very moment, or delivering pizza. I think finding professors to teach an armed student body might also be a difficult task.

  • michael

    There’s U.S. and Korean flags and flowers on a tree across the street from the U.S. Embassy and a sign in Korean expressing sympathy for the deaths. The emabassy flag is flying at half-mast.

    It’s more of a time for contemplation than accusations.

  • FiRe

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  • kayakorea

    So much for the “language problems” some people suggested Cho might have had as a Korean immigrant. In the video he made he speaks better English than some of the native speaker teachers I’ve worked with in Korea. I blame it 100% on mental illness. All you folks have fun with the shitstorm of accusations about racism, cultural reasons, Korean education system b.s. It’s all non-issue here. And remember, the guy did what he did for all the wang ta’s in the world. Not just the Korean ones.
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070419/ap_on_re_us/virginia_tech_shooting

  • SomeguyinKorea

    wjk,

    Has it occurred to you that the kid was hoping to produce a divisive reaction, that he was trying to drive a wedge between the Korean-American community and the rest of Americans? Sure, you’re right in saying that racism against Asians exists in the US, but speaking about it at this time is essentially playing in the kid’s hands.

    Which brings me to this: Asians should stop worrying about whether there will be a backlash–and voicing their opinion about it. Initial expressions of shock and condolences suffice; anything more invites this sort of behavior, makes them look like easy targets. Remember that bullies prey on fear. Sure, Korean-Americans shouldn’t need to be cautious given that the killer was one individual and because the US is a ‘free’ nation…but, you have to be realistic. Racism and hate exists in all societies. Even if 99.999 percent of Americans would be good and kind people, you’d still end up with an awful lot of jerks and racists waiting for this sort of thing to ply their skills in general ‘assholery’.

    Luckily, most people (I hope) are on Koreans’ side here. I would think that the hell that Arabs went through after 9/11 is still fresh in the minds of most Americans which is why Korean-Americans are naturally worried…but I suspect –I hope– that it’s also why those fears are unfounded: I hope that most people are consciously trying not to fall into the traps of tribalism.

  • dogbertt

    I agree, kayakorea. I don’t think his being Korean had anything to do with it at all — he was another Unabomber-type sociopath with a grudge. And, of course, mentally ill.

    Worth noting too that so far nothing in Cho’s writings has any connection with his identity as a Korean or Koreanness in general.

  • michael…

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  • Maddlew

    Michael, others have expressed a similar plea and I must agree. It is often hard to stop the mind from meandering into self-indugence. How will this effect me, my family here and back home in the States?
    We forget that our discomfort is a small thing. Bless those directly effected by this tragedy.
    For those involved in spreading rumors about the suicide of the young man’s parents, what a horrible thing you’ve done. If they weren’t contemplating it before they certainly might be now.

  • wjk

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  • ….

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  • http://koreanamerican431.blogspot.com/ baduk

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  • http://koreanamerican431.blogspot.com/ baduk

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  • bluetranslator

    Baduk, you really need to stop with your wild surmisings about how a lack of English skills played a huge role in this guy’s breakdown. Why? Because with all due respect, you have no idea what you’re talking about.

    I came to the US 2 months short of my 12th birthday, and I speak and write like a native. And in fact, any linguist familiar with second language acquisition will tell you that someone who comes to the US at the age of 8 does not have problems acquiring the language. There is a “threshold” age for troublefree second language acquisition, and that happens to be right around 11 or 12.

    And the guy can “enunciate” fine. What does “innunciate” mean? Is that English? Are you sure that “innundate” is an English word? I know of the English word, “inundate.” LMAO.

    Look, just because you yourself may have had problems learning English and still do not know the difference between your e’s and i’s, do not project your own experiences onto some guy who you know nothing about. The guy’s English was fine. He was an English major, Baduk. Get over it. It seems like at least two professors in the English department were scared shitless by this guy. If his English was so poor as you are trying to convince yourself and others, the professors would have failed him. Not one of his instructors stated that he was an incompetent student. But they had problems with the disturbed voice in which Cho wrote.

    I do concede that this poor soul had bad diction, but there is a difference between diction and enunciation. People have said that he mumbled quite a bit. Well, that is a SOCIALIZATION problem, not a LINGUISTIC problem. Why in the world would you go on theorizing about a subject you are totally and utterly unqualified to comment on?

    Think before you type. I mean, the guy’s sister is older, and she graduated from Princeton. Didn’t she face language problems too? Brilliant logic.

  • Maddlew

    It looks like he might have been frustrated about his parents situation. Years of not being able to do anything. For his mother and father to go from a basement apartment in Korea to owning a dry cleaners in the States, his father must have worked very hard. His mother, too.
    Something more must have happened, though. A run-in with some rich kids? He kept looking in on classrooms before the carnage. I wonder who he was looking for? I wonder if he found them?
    There’s a Korean channel which is running this story seemingly twenty-four hours a day. My wife is in there watching it while I’m in here looking at stuff. She periodically comes in to update me. I wonder how much her and my interest has changed to a morbid fascination? Maybe all of it.
    I’ve got to stop this.

  • http://koreanamerican431.blogspot.com/ baduk

    bluetranslator,

    Some people are gifted in language acquisition. And, you are one of them.

    What you think of his plays? One of the commentor suggested that his plays were those of a junior high student. I am just quoting her.

    I bet Cho was a C student. Some of his teachers may given him a higher grade due to possible physical harm.

    In any case, he was a exhibitionist, a show-off. What kind of sick (deleted) would send his suicide note to NBC?

    A cheap show, indeed.

  • http://www.korealawblog.com Brendon Carr

    Another topic, another crazy baduk assertion — this time about language acquisition. I’m with bluetranslator: You’re full of crap, baduk.

    I’ve seen interviews with Yunjin Kim on Letterman and Jimmy Kimmel, as well as on The View (if that shout-fest can be called an “interview”), and unless those appearances were also verbatim memorization, it appeared to me as if she were an American native speaker of English just like me.

    I went to law school with a Vietnamese-American who blew my mind when he told me he immigrated at 15, because his English was also flawless.

  • railwaycharm

    This thread takes the cake. It is amazing how so many can crawl inside this nuts head and make sense of it all. Would you all feel better if he was Italian?

    Marmot, retire this thread while we all have some semblance of self-respect.

  • bluetranslator

    Personally, I actually somewhat empathize with the kid. Only if because he and I have very similar backgrounds. And of course, I wish that this never happened, but since it has, it does raise some pretty provocative issues about both Korean and American societies.

    You can see so many factors at hand here. Is the kind of unbridled capitalism, practiced in the US and S. Korea, that can promote a sense of entitlement among the rich and a sense of resentment among the poor to be encouraged? What about the increasing social isolation in the face of the technological onslaught? The violence in both Korean and US media? The picture of that kid with a hammer had an uncanny resemblance to the character of Oh Dae-su in the ultra-violent Korean movie Oldboy. (A film I love, but what would watching something like that do to a kid like Cho?)

    We can see that both Korean and American media are playing hot potatoes with this massacre–the American media trying to paint Cho as a foreigner, and the Korean media doing what it can to paint him as an American. Naturally, everyone wants to defelct blame in a situation like this. But ultimately, what has happened is an indictment of BOTH societies, and of the current state of our human civilization.

    Now with this incident and the 1982 jilted lover/policeman shooting rampage, ethnic Koreans hold the record for the two worst shooting sprees in history as we know it. That should make us Koreans ponder the question of why this is so. Yet, America is still a far more violent and dangerous place to live in than in Korea. And that, as a Korean-American, makes me pause and ponder as well. The fact is that the first known serial murders (as opposed to shooting sprees) did not occur in Korea until 1986. So is Korean society, in its hasty efforts to catch up with the “advanced” nations like Japan and America, coming undone at the seams?

    By raising these issues, I do not in any way excuse the behavior of this young man–for human civilization to not perish, individuals have to be held responsible for their own actions.
    But we have to ask these questions.

  • SomeguyinKorea

    “His parents still spoke Korean only. No wonder Cho did not speak in the class. He was afraid that other students might find out he had “funny” accent.”

    As blues translator was saying, his problem was most certainly not a linguistic one. My parents never spoke in English to me and it didn’t prevent me from earning a graduate degree from one of the most prestigious British universities (sure, I make the occasional mistake here and there–as you can see in my many posts here–but that’s just because I’m sloppy). Besides, he was in Virginia, everybody talks with a funny accent there. ;)

  • SomeguyinKorea

    Who the heck is ‘blues translator’? See, I am sloppy! It’s a badge I wear with pride. :)

  • railwaycharm

    Let’s all make excuses and apologies for a lunatic. Are you guys for real? What makes you all think Korean immigrants have a special brand of suffering different than any other group? When my Irish ancestors came to the country they were worth less than blacks. Spare me all the dime-store psychoanalysis. He was a nut. Nothing more, nothing less! The rest of this hyperbole is a bunch of crap designed to make you all feel better about yourselves. The ham-fisted, telegraphed punches here are beyond tedious.

  • bluetranslator

    Like I said before, I hold the gunman responsible for his actions. But you don’t think that events like this or Columbine raise issues about our society at large too?

    If you don’t think that they do at all, then I guess there’s nothing to discuss. I just happen to think that some societal factors at the very least do contribute to exacerbate situations… And if they exacerbate what is already a tenuous situation, is it a bunch of crap to try to address them so we can at least mitigate the impact of the disasters?

    Of course, we can just say, “the guy is a nut.” We can leave it at that and do nothing until the next nut comes along and does the same thing, right? I’d like to prevent the advent of another nut, but hey, that’s me.

  • railwaycharm

    bluetranslator,
    Perhaps a vocational position in the mental health field? Otherwise, it’s a jerk-off.

  • kpmsprtd

    I can’t crawl inside Seung Cho’s head, but what I can do and pledge to do is reach out to someone who’s obviously struggling alone, and at least attempt to make him or her feel better for a moment or more.

    Re kayakorea’s #338, the one word that’s been running through my mind since Monday is “wang ta.” We all know at least one person at school, at work, or somewhere in town who is currently labeled as such. How about it? You don’t have to be a mental health professional to make an extra effort.

  • FiRe

    bluetranslator, stop blaming society and “cultural factors”. Him being Korean has nothing to do with what he did.

    You need to stop justifying his actions.

  • bluetranslator

    “By raising these issues, I do not in any way excuse the behavior of this young man–for human civilization to not perish, individuals have to be held responsible for their own actions.
    But we have to ask these questions.”

    railwaycharm, did you even read the last paragraph of my post? There is a difference between excusing a criminal’s actions and wanting to improve our society so that the negative conditions that can contribute to such tragedies are improved at least. I understand your justifiable anger, but I really don’t think you read my entire post.

    Obviously, people in much worse taxing situations do not do what this Cho character did. So like I said, the responsibility lies with him. But if there was something that could’ve been done to prevent this tragedy, shouldn’t we learn as much as we can so we can prevent similar tragedies? That doesn’t excuse the criminal. What’s the harm in trying to prevent the next Cho Seung-hui from killing innocent lives?

  • railwaycharm

    Kpmsprtd,

    You are right. We can help these people understand that their M.O. is backwards. Step 1. Kill Self. Step 2. Wait, there is no step 2!

  • bluetranslator

    Fire, again read my entire post. I said that the responsibility is on Cho. I’m not justifying what he did. Who in their right mind would?

    Why do you guys misrepresent what I wrote? Once again, let me make a categorical statement. CHO SEUNG-HUI IS THE CRIMINAL ULTIMATELY RESPONSIBLE FOR WHAT HAPPENED. Now, with that out of the way, is there something we can do as a society to prevent another Cho-like person from doing this? Isn’t that a legitimate question? It’s not an either-or situation, people. I condemn Cho for his unforgivable crime. AT THE SAME TIME, I believe that we can do better as a society (Korean, American, global societies, all) to try to prevent these kinds of crimes against humanity. They are not mutually exclusive concepts. Expand your brains for once, damn.

  • kpmsprtd

    Re railwaycharm’s #361:

    I’ve read your posts for a while, and I think you’re a great guy, and I’d love to have a beer with you on Ullung-do, and all of that…

    But I need to point out that the “these people” you refer to are “us”. You are fortunate to be able to use the term you’ve chosen. Others must refer to them as “my son” or “my spouse” or “my brother”.

    Mental illness, and the accompanying double-edged sword of brain medicines, is easily within six degrees of separation for all of us. It was less than a year ago, wasn’t it, that we dealt with the tragedy of Shawn Matthews, he of the Toy Crane Jerk of Despair.

    I’m quite serious in my suggestion. Find one of “these people” nearby you today, and reach out to him or her. Try to help him or her get help.

    Perish the words “wang ta” and “loner.” Bluetranslator, I hear what you’re saying, and there is something we can do. We can start treating people who have mental illness the same way we treat people who have heart disease or cancer. And we can all do our part to prevent others from being ostracized.

  • railwaycharm

    Bluetranslator,

    There is something… execute violent criminals. You seem to be too concerned with whether or not these creatures are looking in the toilet after they make boom-booms or not. We protect criminals by not properly punishing them properly, while putting innocent people in harms way.

  • railwaycharm

    oops, one to many properly. Sorry.

  • iheartblueballs

    Relax, Korean brothers and sisters. Your long national nightmare is now over. You need not worry about being responsible for one of your own tribe going on a murderous rampage. New details have emerged about the true evil force behind the cold, murderous eyes of Cho Seung Hui.

    It was not kimchi that fueled his hatred. It was…..SATAN! Praise Jesus and be thankful that Fox News cracked this mystery:

    Could Cho have been possessed by the Devil? Could that explain the massacre at Virginia Tech?

    Dr. Richard Roberts, president of Oral Roberts University, shouts an unequivocal “Yes!”

    “Based on what I’ve seen in the news,” Roberts said in an interview, “there’s no doubt that this act was Satanic in origin.”

    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,266860,00.html

  • bluetranslator

    railwaycharm,

    The problem is that the prospect of death/execution obviously would do nothing to stop the likes of Cho or the Columbine killers, would it? These guys had no respect for life, including their own.

    More executions may or may not prevent certain types of violent criminals. Many people doubt that death penalty is a deterrent because the US has the death penalty and has more morders per capita than most other nations without the per capita. But that’s an entirely different political issue.

    Specifically in cases like those of Cho and the Columbine killers, the prospect of the death penalty obviously does absolutely nothing to prevent the ctimes.

  • a-letheia

    bluetranslator :… we can just say, “the guy is a nut.” We can leave it at that and do nothing until the next nut comes along and does the same thing, right? I’d like to prevent the advent of another nut, but hey, that’s me.

    me too… I think rather than try to figure out some hidden motives behind the words, if we look just at what people say — as is — here, there is lots to be learned.

  • railwaycharm

    kpmsprtd,

    If I came across with a “These people” attitude it was unknowingly so and I apologize for that. Forgive my cavalier attitude toward this subject. I am more than a bit embarrassed that Koreans are taking a reverse racism stance towards this tragedy. I could care less if it were a Korean, Irishman, Jew, or what-have-you. Innocent people died and regardless of the fact Cho was ill, we can’t bring them back. Yes, we need to help mentally ill people, now is not the proper time to make excuses. I hope my sardonic comments were not wasted on everyone. We are one people. I see too much of the “dog in the manger” attitude especially when comes to Nationalism and wounded pride. Blaming society, gun control, spastic colon, is all inappropriate at this juncture.

  • michael

    Cho was definitely mentally ill:
    “Mr. Cho went voluntarily to the Police Department, which referred him to a mental health agency off campus, Chief Flinchum said. A counselor recommended involuntary commitment, and a judge signed an order saying that he “presents an imminent danger to self or others” and sent him to Carilion St. Albans Psychiatric Hospital in Radford for an evaluation.

    “Affect is flat and mood is depressed,” a doctor there wrote. “He denies suicidal ideations. He does not acknowledge symptoms of a thought disorder. His insight and judgment are sound.”

    The doctor determined that Mr. Cho was mentally ill, but not an imminent danger, and the judge declined to commit him, instead ordering outpatient treatment.”
    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/19/us/19gunman.html?_r=1&hp&oref=slogin

    Mentally ill people are mostly a threat to themselves and are harmed by people’s ignorance and indifference rather than harmful to others. Cho fell through the cracks in the system, a tragedy within a tragedy.

  • bluetranslator

    railwaycharm,

    Nowhere in my original post, did I say that some kind of racial discrimination against Cho was to be blamed for this guy’s breakdown. In fact, if anything, my post was quite critical of Korean society, probably more so than it was of American society. There was nothing hinting of national pride. In fact, if I did not state that I was a Korean-American myself, there’s nothing in there you could read as some kind of misguided nationalistic apology on behalf of this poor demented soul who committed these heinous murders.

    All of the scientific data seems to indicate that psychosis and mental illness are more common in highly modernized technological societies than in societies that are a bit more nature-based. That was the point I was trying to make. Can we, not only as Korean and American societies but as a global civilization, do something to curb the tide of such mass mental breakdowns? We owe ourselves an answer.

    I understand that emotions are running high, but please debate the actual content of the posts, not what you project the content to be.

  • Newton Kabiddles

    What when on in the back room of the dry-cleaners? Whew…….

  • Pingback: I Heart, iheartblueballs « 東亜細亜ブログ観察・・・ブログ

  • FiRe

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  • railwaycharm

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  • SomeguyinKorea

    What’s sad about this whole thing is that some people (mainly stupid teenagers and emotionally stunted adults) will rationalize that Americans now hate Koreans; thus projecting their own xenophobia unto Americans as a means to validate their own hatred and suck in more people into their vicious circle.

    I got first hand experience of this just over an hour ago. As I was going to the gym, I noticed a couple of teenagers standing in the lobby of the building. One points me out to his friend and makes a pretty inoffensive comment about me. His friend, however, takes one look at me and says, “죽을래” (actually, it came out “죽어래”. Must be the local dialect.). I’m not sure if it was directed at me of his friend, but he suddenly grabs his friend and drags him to the washroom–probably to poison his mind against Americans (ironically, I’m Canadian).

  • http://koreanamerican431.blogspot.com/ baduk

    iheartblueballs,

    Don’t knock Satan. Don’t think “Satanic possession” doesn’t happen.

    When Cho was shooting people, many in multiple times, what went through his mind? Just blank? He was sane enough to meticulous re-load his gun.

    And, he was smiling.

    With “Ismael Ax” tatooed in his arm, he referred to Jesus in his final statement.

    The Son of Sam said that a dog talked to him and told him to carry out his terrible acts.

    Mass killings are abnormal. So out of normal human experience that I suspect other spiritual influence. Evil Spirit.

    As a Bible-believing Christian, I cannot deny the hand of Satan in the incident at Virginia Tech. I agree with Oral Robets, who had healed many of these Devil-possessed people. When Roberts laid his hands on these possessed people, evil spirits cried out and left. The patients became well. They became normal. The change was night and day. Many will attest to his mircles.

    Are they all placebo effect or is there something true about Possession and Exhorcism? I believe the latter based on the Bible.

  • a-letheia

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  • slim

    “We can see that both Korean and American media are playing hot potatoes with this massacre–the American media trying to paint Cho as a foreigner, and the Korean media doing what it can to paint him as an American.”

    This is only half accurate and is an insult to the media on one side of the Pacific who simply stuck to facts in a fast changing situation, while the media of the other side of the ocean ran on (and runs on) with baduk-style stream-of-unconsciousness speculation about racial tensions and other crap.

    Identifying Cho as a “South Korean-born legal resident who moved to the United States in 1992″ or any other accurate formulation that was the rule for all US major media coverage is not painting someone as a foreigner in a country of by and for immigrants. Look it it up in any basic journalism textbook or AP stylebook. Korea’s ham-handed Foreign Ministry and amateur, tribalist media were the ones to introduce race into a tragedy with its rainbow cast of characters.

    This is an issue that exercises me because in their (I have to assume deliberately) horrendous misreporting of the 2002 schoolgirl deaths, South Korean media (mainstream as well as new digital) did immense damage to the US-ROK alliance and to ROK interests and reputation above all, including by making it possible for a Roh Moo-hyun presidency. I can forgive the fanclub style coverage of Rain and Michelle Wie or whatever celebrity they want the home country to slobber over — an even welcome it for the fodder it inevitably gives the partypooper — but on matters with serious consequences, I cannot overstress how important it is to get things right.

  • iheartblueballs

    baduk, I have no problem knocking Satan, or the Tooth Fairy, or Easter Bunny, or Santa Clause, or God, because I believe in none of them. “Satanic possession” is just the flip side of “inspired by God.” Convenient excuses for psychotics to use to avoid personal responsibility.

    And yes, that means I see little difference between the Son of Sam claiming a dog told him to kill people and Oral Roberts claiming God told him to heal people. They’re both con artists, just different motives.

    Sure, many will attest to a con man’s miracles despite any evidence, just like many Koreans will attest to the massive backlash despite it actually occurring, and many suicide bombers will attest to the fact that there are 80 virgins waiting for him in heaven. Billions of people attest to bullshit all the time. But that still doesn’t equal truth.

  • slim

    Damn! I’ve been sold a bill of goods, having grown up thinking at least 2/3 of my record collection was inspired by Satan.

    sidenote: It looks like iheartblueballs has a budding fan club in Japan:

    ihea rtblueballsさん、是非ブログを作ってください

  • iheartblueballs

    but on matters with serious consequences, I cannot overstress how important it is to get things right.

    Or failing that, at least an honest attempt at getting things right, which we rarely see from the Korean media in all matters USFK or USA.

  • FiRe

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  • FiRe

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  • Sonagi

    @Railway Charm, Fire, and others:

    I feel sympathy for the shooter because it very much appears that he was mentally ill, that people tried to get help for him, but were ultimately unsuccessful. Mental illness is a sickness. We should not hate those who shows clinical signs of mental illness no matter what they do. I am a European-American, so that throws ethnic brotherhood theories out the window.

  • Sonagi

    @Fire, #383:

    Forgiveness is the very essence of Christianity. Dying on the cross, Jesus accepted his fate and displayed no anger or blame towards those who participated in his death.

    SHOUTOUT TO ALL:

    Friday, April 18, is Hokie Day. If you’d like to show support and sympathy for those in mourning, please wear something maroon and gold, the school colors.

  • user-81

    This is only half accurate and is an insult to the media on one side of the Pacific who simply stuck to facts in a fast changing situation, while the media of the other side of the ocean ran on (and runs on) with baduk-style stream-of-unconsciousness speculation about racial tensions and other crap.

    How true that is may depend on how broadly you define “media”.

    From conservative commentator Debbie Schlussel on the day of the shooting:

    Here’s what we know about the murderer of at least 32 students and maimer of at least 28 more at Virginia Tech, today:
    * The murderer has been identified by law enforcement and media reports as “a young Asian male.”

    * The Virginia Tech campus has a very large Muslim community, many of which are from Pakistan (per terrorism investigator Bill Warner).

    * Pakis are considered “Asian.”

    So who is the shooter? What is the shooter’s nationality? What is the shooter’s religion? Waiting to find out. And wondering why the police and media are referring to the shooter as “Asian” and not by specific nationality.

    If I were Asian, I’d be legitimately upset with this broad generalization of the mass murderer’s identity.

    Why am I speculating that the “Asian” gunman is a Pakistani Muslim? Because law enforcement and the media strangely won’t tell us more specifically who the gunman is. Why?

    Even if it does not turn out that the shooter is Muslim, this is a demonstration to Muslim jihadists all over that it is extremely easy to shoot and kill multiple American college students.

    http://bluemassgroup.org/showDiary.do;jsessionid=FE058586FC2A229ACC459FE1DD8E6A50?diaryId=7058 (The indirect link is necessary because the original has been removed).

    From a conservative online news source:

    Speakers at the Virginia Tech convocation called on Allah and Buddha in their efforts to minister to the survivors, family and friends of victims of the shooting massacre at the school – but Jesus wasn’t mentioned by name.

    President Bush did offer a biblical message of hope, when he suggested the school community that lost 32 members to the shootings by an out-of-control resident alien student find “comfort in the grace and guidance of a loving God.”

    But even he didn’t bring Jesus, the only hope of comfort and future life for Christians, into the memorials.

    “I’m sitting here watching the convocation service at VT,” wrote a WND reader who was given anonymity. “Five minutes ago they had four representatives from the local ‘religious community.’ The Muslim specifically invoked Allah’s blessings and he didn’t shy away from saying the name of Allah. The Jewish rep asked for God’s blessings. Buddha was represented. The only name that [was] omitted, of course, Jesus Christ.”

    http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=55252

  • slim

    Commentators comment, reporters report. Sometimes reporters report the comments of commentators. Troubles start when lines are blurred or don’t exist to begin with.

  • abcdefg

    Speaking of people quoting others in this page, can anyone tell me what the Japanese reaction has been?

    Most people here (surprisingly) agree that the killer was a sad demented individual and that he is not representative of Koreans. That’s the basic starting point. Is this the starting point among Japanese too, in general?

    It seems the shootings ignited a whole slew of racist anti-Korean diatribe but I’m not sure if that’s just a bunch of random otaku shooting off at youtube behind the screen or if there is something more prevalent, let’s say national or even cultural, behind this.

    I’ll caution: I’m not pointing fingers. I’m inquiring. Although I do find it upsetting that if there’s any sort of garbage being produced in the way Korea is handling this situation there’s certainly a lot of garbage being produced elsewhere and, yes, here, that goes without mention.

    And, yes, if commiting the Korean version of Godwin’s law (in the form of mentioning Hines Ward in an argument) is stupid enough showcasing such comments are dreadful.

  • jazzintime

    What about the victims!!! This race baiting facination with Mr. Cho is loosing traction with me. We should place an emphasis on who died in this terrible tragedy!!!

  • Sonagi

    abcdef asked:

    “Speaking of people quoting others in this page, can anyone tell me what the Japanese reaction has been?”

    Japan is a nation of 130,000,000 people; there isn’t a single “Japanese reaction” to any issue, including this one. Japan Probe’s post on the Youtube video hasn’t drawn many comments, so I’m guessing ordinary Japanese don’t have a burning interest in this story but are much more concerned about the murder of the mayor of Nagasaki. Japan Probe is one of my favorite J-pat blogs. James is a voice of reason, and his moderation efforts keep trolling to a minimum.

  • FiRe

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  • dogbertt

    What’s sad about this whole thing is that some people (mainly stupid teenagers and emotionally stunted adults) will rationalize that Americans now hate Koreans; thus projecting their own xenophobia unto Americans as a means to validate their own hatred and suck in more people into their vicious circle.

    Bingo.

  • http://21cseonbi.blogspot.com sewing

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  • railwaycharm

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  • SomeguyinKorea

    “The media did NOTHING wrong by putting his name first. The guy is a SOUTH KOREAN NATIONAL.”

    The question is, why did they do it? My guess:

    1. he was a Korean citizen, so they were trying to be culturally sensitive. (if that was the case, than this is turning out to be quite the catch-22)

    2. they printed it as the cops gave it to them (my guess would be that they released it how it appears on his passport/immigration records).

  • railwaycharm

    Here is some sanity for the sick-o’s

    What can we do to keep what happened at Virginia Tech from ever happening again? Nothing. Understanding that is the key to reducing the frequency of such massacres, and the bloodshed when they, alas, inevitably occur.

    Little more frightens or angers Americans than when a nutbar kills a lot of people at random, because the act is as senseless as it is evil.

    “The effort to shoehorn an event as devastating as this one into a predetermined set of ideas…is an effort to make the unthinkable thinkable,” said New York Post

    columnist John Podhoretz. “Does this massacre seem to be utterly without cause? Well, then, we’ll find a cause in order to be able to wrap our minds around it, because when we have a cause we can determine a remedy.”

    Both supporters and opponents of gun control are shoe-horning the incident into their pre-established templates. Both have ammunition.

    On the one hand, Mr. Cho was able to purchase the firearms he used in the murder spree — Glock 19 and Walther P-22 handguns — lawfully at a local gun shop.

    On the other, the Virginia Tech campus is a “gun free zone,” where students, faculty and staff are forbidden to have firearms, even if they have concealed carry permits. Mr. Cho lived in a dorm on campus, where he stored his weapons and ammunition. The school’s policy banning guns wasn’t very effective in Mr. Cho’s case.

    Or in most others. “Mass killings were rare when guns were easily available, while they have been increasing as guns have become more controlled,” noted Quebec economist Pierre Lemieux.

    The trouble with gun control laws is they target the law abiding. “If you disarm good people but not the criminals, instead of making things safe for the potential victims you may unintentionally make them safe for the criminals,” said Dr. John Lott, coauthor of a massive study on guns and crime.

    A fundamental difference between supporters and opponents of gun control is their attitude toward personal responsibility. Liberals tend to offer excuses for the perpetrators of violent acts (he was poor; his mother drank; his daddy beat him), and to assume that potential victims have no right to play a role in their own defense.

    Those who think the law abiding should be permitted to carry firearms argue that if some of the students, faculty, or staff had been armed, they could have cut Mr. Cho’s murder spree short.

    They point to the shooting that occurred at the Appalachian School of Law in Grundy, Virginia on Jan. 16, 2002. Peter Odighizuwa, a student from Nigeria, killed the school’s dean, a professor and a student, and wounded three others. Mr. Odighizuwa’s spree was cut short because two students went to their cars, retrieved their handguns, and with the help of an unarmed student subdued Mr. Odighizuwa.

    In Pearl, Mississippi on Oct. 1, 1997, 16-year-old Luke Woodham took his rifle to school and began shooting his classmates. His spree was stopped when Assistant Principal Joel Myrick raced to his pickup, retrieved his .45 pistol, and subdued him. Both crime rates and shooting deaths have declined in most states which have adopted “concealed carry” laws, says Dr. Lott. The decline in “multiple victim public shootings” has been especially pronounced, he said.

    “Bill Landes of the University of Chicago law school and I examined multiple-victim public shootings in the U.S. from 1977 to 1999 and found that when states passed right-to-carry laws, the rate of multiple victim public shootings fell by 60 percent.

    Deaths and injuries from multiple victim public shootings fell even further, on average by 78 percent, as the remaining incidents tended to involve fewer victims per attack,” Dr. Lott said.

    Because Virginia Tech denies to its students and faculty the right to protect themselves, it has a special obligation to provide protection. School authorities need to explain how it is that Mr. Cho could shoot two students in one dorm, return to his own dorm, write a rambling note, and then, two hours later, walk across the campus to the classroom building where he conducted his massacre, without interference from the police, or a warning issued to students.

    School officials also should explain why they ignored apparently ample evidence that Mr. Cho was psychologically disturbed, and that students were afraid of him.

    In applauding the defeat last year of a measure in the Virginia legislature to permit those with concealed carry permits to have a gun on campus, Associate Vice President Larry Hinckler said Virginia Tech’s strict gun control policy made students feel safer. But there is a difference between feeling safer and being safer, as Virginia Tech has learned to its sorrow.

  • SomeguyinKorea

    railwaycharm,

    And when gunmen took a Russian school hostage, hundreds of children died in the shootout between the terrorists, conscripted soldiers, and civilians who had brought their own weapons.

  • bluetranslator

    Bluetranslator wrote

    “Fire, again read my entire post. I said that the responsibility is on Cho. I’m not justifying what he did. Who in their right mind would?

    Why do you guys misrepresent what I wrote? Once again, let me make a categorical statement. CHO SEUNG-HUI IS THE CRIMINAL ULTIMATELY RESPONSIBLE FOR WHAT HAPPENED.”

    Fire wrote
    “Bluetranslator,

    stop contradicting yourself. You first say racism isn’t a factor. Then you accuse the media of being racist for putting his last name first. You’re a very very sad person. You have no idea what racism is. The media did NOTHING wrong by putting his name first. The guy is a SOUTH KOREAN NATIONAL.

    You also call him a “poor demented soul”. Wow every post shows your sympathy for him and the lack of sympathy for the victims.

    You and Baduk think all because you guys are Korean there is some kind of connection between you and the killer… get real… i know if the guy was black you wouldn’t feel sorry for him. You know who the real racist is? Not the media…. but YOU GUYS! You feel sorry him BASED ON RACE.

    You and Baduk are no different then terrorist sympathizers.”

    Okay, I realize that emotions are running high, and people see what they want to see, but Fire, I’d really appreciate it if you’d refrain from making ad hominem attacks. Yes, in one of my posts, I referred to Cho as a “poor, demented, soul.” I guess that is some sort of kind, sympathetic statement in your mind, but it is not in mine. Calling someone “demented” is a sympathetic statement? Please debate me on what I actually write, not what you FEEL I wrote.

    And I’ve said countless times that Cho is the one ultimately responsible. Not society, any society, Korean, American, none. As for whether or not, certain societies contribute to more violence in general, is a different issue. So again, debate me on the merits, not something you project to be my writing.

    I never said once RACISM was a motivating factor in what Cho did. Did I? If you’re going to accuse me of such a thing, please back it up with some proof. Yes, what I did say was that the American media’s presentation of his name is odd to say the least, since the names of Koreans living in the States are always Americanized. And many people have said that it might be because he was technically a South Korean citizen, but that’s never been the case before with other Korean citizens who became well-known in the US, such as Chanho Park, Byung-hun Kim, Seri Pak, K.J. Choi and so on. What I said, and I still stand by it, is that the press made an odd UNANIMOUS choice in presenting his name in a fashion that really turns him into a “foreigner”, one of them, rather than “us.” And actually, the press even identified his sister, and her name was clearly reported as Sun Cho. Why? I’m asking the questions, okay? I’m thinking that maybe it was a subconsciously racist/xenophobic thing. Or maybe I’m wrong, and it was a perfectly innocent error. But it was collective and unanimous, and that makes me wonder.

    And, no, I do not automatically make apologies for the guy since he’s Korean. Give me a break. Back it up with actual posts if you’re going to make personal accusations. I’ve called Cho sick, demented, and a criminal. Just because I haven’t resorted to more colorful language like douchebag, it doesn’t mean at all that I am sympathetic to him personally.

    But yes, I have called out both Korean and American societies/cultures, because I think that both of them, more than a lot of other societies, do foster feelings of social alienation, especially because of their highly technological nature.

    What I am trying to do, in all earnestness, is to see if there is something we can do to prevent or at least minimize such tragedies in the future. That is all. Why? Because I do feel for the victims. Do not even make the absurd accusation that I do not feel for the victims. Why do you think that I am so passionate about this? I mean, you may have different opinions as to whether or not we can do something as society to at least minimize future massacres, but because of that, you’re going to say that I’m just like a terrorist sympathizer? Please…

  • iheartblueballs

    What I said, and I still stand by it, is that the press made an odd UNANIMOUS choice in presenting his name in a fashion that really turns him into a “foreigner”, one of them, rather than “us.”

    Somebody just stepped in it.

    Read it and weep, UNANIMOUSLY WRONG:

    http://www.slate.com/id/2164659/?nav=fix

    It was by no means unanimous, and the entire reason Virginia Tech officials used his Korean name instead of the American order, was because a state trooper OF KOREAN ORIGIN told them to.

    Buh. Bye.

  • Pingback: The Marmot’s Hole » The name game

  • snow

    “Is the kind of unbridled capitalism, practiced in the US and S. Korea, that can promote a sense of entitlement among the rich and a sense of resentment among the poor to be encouraged?”

    The rich are hated the world over, no matter what kind of society they live in. I highly doubt that the rich in North Korea are well-loved, but nobody dares say a thing. Around the world, people can blame the rich for anything and everything to escape from their own pathetic little lives (as in the case with this worm).

    What are we supposed to do, stop people from becoming rich? Force the rich to share more? Follow the example of the Europeans and stifle growth so as to soak the rich? Bring in more socialism so that we can all be poor (except the party members)? Why should the rich always be blamed for all the ills of society? We need the rich, and the free market and capitalism offers most people at least some chance (even if remote) to become rich themselves.

  • snow

    “More executions may or may not prevent certain types of violent criminals.”

    What if we had a ‘death by extreme torture’ penalty? (I’m just kidding people).

  • http://rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler

    395 comments and counting on this one thread alone. Is this a new Marmot’s Hole record.

    No, that record still belongs to “Foreign teacher sacrificed to the Dokdo gods,” which got 514 comments, including trackbacks.

  • railwaycharm

    SomeguyinKorea,

    If they would have used the guns instead of the gas the outcome would have been completely different!

  • bluetranslator

    iheartblueballs,

    Grow up. Like I said,I raised the question because it was one worthy of being raised. Okay? Apparently so did Slate.com. So it wasn’t UNANIMOUS. But the name was OVERWHELMINGLY presented in the Korean style in the American media. Satisfied? And quite obviously, the state trooper of Korean origin didn’t know shit, did he? Since when do you put such credence and respect to what a single person of KOREAN ORIGIN stated anyway? LOL.

  • iheartblueballs

    Reuters, the Associated Press, the Washington Post, and the New York Times, among others, went with Cho Seung-Hui.

    National Public Radio, ABC News, the Los Angeles Times, CBS News, and others went with Seung Hui Cho.

    So no, it wasn’t even overwhelmingly one usage.

    When you so confidently declare something so UNANIMOUS and COLLECTIVE in big CAPS, and further state how you’re standing by your big assessment, and then it turns out that it was neither unanimous nor collective and your assessment was completely false…you best just tuck your tail between your legs and run on home.

  • peninsular aborigine

    Last Word: It makes no difference which way his name was printed. The average American does not know shit from shinola vis-a-vis Korea. We are either diablical or stupid, not both.

  • dogbertt

    What I said, and I still stand by it, is that the press made an odd UNANIMOUS choice in presenting his name in a fashion that really turns him into a “foreigner”, one of them, rather than “us.”

    So his name “turns him into a foreigner”? Actually, he already was a foreigner. However, rather than blame the media for supposedly “making him a foreigner”, why don’t you blame him for (a) deciding not to become a citizen during 15 years of U.S. residency; and (b) not adopting a snappy “American” name, like Mike or David or John or Steve, as many Korean-Americans, indeed many Koreans, do?

    I mean, whether it is “Seung Hui Cho” or “Cho Seung Hui”, his ethnic origin is still somehow obvious

  • bluetranslator

    Okay, let’s look at the “others” such as the four 24-hour all-news networks like MSNBC, Fox, Headline News, and CNN. They all used Cho Seung-hui. NBC also used Cho Seung-hui.

    And you conveniently neglected to mention that CBS only chose to switch to the Americanized version late Wednesday, as it was mentioned in the article you yourself are referring to. Nice omission. I do applaud CBS for its decision by the way.

    So we’re looking at:
    CNN, Headline News, Fox, MSNBC, NBC, Reuters, AP, NY Times, and Washington Post

    as opposed to

    ABC, NPR, and LA Times… and others.
    *CBS should be left out of the discussion altogether because they changed their usage late Wednesday (American time, that is.)

    Uh, okay. Look at those lists, and any person living in America will admit that the number of Americans who get their news from the first list would absolutely DWARF the number who get their news from the second list. Maybe it’s because you reside in Korea, but trust me, the name of the killer has been imprinted in most people’s heads as “Cho Seung-hui” and not the other way.

    It’s so petty for you to try to “win” some kind of argument when in fact I brought this whole topic up more than two days ago, you didn’t say a thing. In fact, I did get a lot of negative comments for even making a subject of it (which is fine, that’s what forums are for), but no one at the time raised any objections to the FACT that most, and seemingly all, of the American media was referring to the killer as “Cho Seung-hui.” If the name was being reported in the media in both ways at a rate approaching anywhere near 50/50, don’t you think people would’ve mentioned that?

    But there wasn’t a single post that said the media was presenting it as Seung Hui Cho or Seung Cho as well and that I was an idiot for not taking a note of this. All the posters who responded to me took it as a fact (as it had been a fact) that the name was overwhemingly presented in the Korean rather than American fashion. Many of them thought I was making much ado about nothing, and I respect their opinion. But do not retroactively change the essence of what happened.

  • http://www.japanprobe.com James

    Seung Hui Cho sounds less foreign than Cho Seung-hui? I can’t believe people out there actually think that changing around the order of the parts of his name could actually make American viewers/readers see it as somehow not “foreign.” Either way you write it, it’s about as “foreign” as you can get.

  • dogbertt

    32 people cold in the ground and people are arguing about the name of the killer.

  • Netizen Kim

    Who here thinks the word “postal” might be replaced by “cho”? As in “going postal” is now “doing a cho” or “that guy did a cho”?

  • http://koreanamerican431.blogspot.com/ baduk

    Some people think I did for the poor
    Some think I did for KoreanAmericans
    And others think I did for other looneys

    They don’t know fuck about me

    I saw gangsta videos
    I love to be a gun toting, wild shooting, bad mouthing, ass-shaking gangstas
    It is so cool, wild and mind-blowing

    I bought a gun and then another
    Practiced shooting night and day

    No,no, no, the girl had nothing to do with it
    It was just gangsta thing to chase after booties

    I just like to shoot and kill
    And be the king of the jungle

    Be the Man. Be the Ismail Ax.

    Don’t let anybody kick you around
    Don’t let anyone laugh at your face

    Just bash their fucking faces in
    And shoot ‘em, shoot ‘em good

    I am a gangsta, a Korean-born killer
    Grown up in Virginia
    I love gun, gangsta life, hiphop music, shooting people

    I grew up with gangsta videos
    They were so cool
    I made one right before I went to work

    Cho

  • ,,,,,

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  • http://rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler

    iheartblueballs—I guess it would be completely useless of me to ask you to play nice, right?

  • iheartblueballs

    Got the message Robert.

    Starting this evening, I will be taking some time off from commenting for a little while anyway as other, more important responsibilities are calling. I decided to volunteer with my local chapter of the Asian American Justice Network. I’ll be manning the phones, taking calls from Backlash victims, and documenting the atrocities for distribution to the media. Their shocking lack of coverage of the Backlash and its devastating effects is a hate crime in itself.

    Wish me luck, and please inform any Koreans you come in contact with that if they happen to experience any funny looks, strange looks, weird looks, indifferent looks, or non-looks (someone not looking at you is the most damaging type of racial harrassment) from any Wonderbread while visiting the States, that I’m only a phone call away, and I guarantee a sympathetic ear and swift prosecution of their attacker(s).

  • bluetranslator

    iheartblueballs wrote:
    “And let me be the first to congratulate you on formulating the brilliant argument that Cho Seung Hui sounds so much more foreign than Seung Hui Cho to the average American on the street.”

    Thanks, but you give me too much credit. I never stated that “Cho Seung Hui sounds so much more foreign than Seung Hui Cho to the average American on the street.” Those are the words of someone else. How about not putting words into my mouth? lol. What I brought up was that it was a curious decision on the part of the media elite who makes such decisions. I am more than well aware that the average American cannot even point out South Korea on the map if their life depended on it. In none of my posts, do I mention how the average American perceives Cho’s name–what I did specifically state was my concern for what the MEDIA did. At least, read what people actually write before you decide to jump down their throat, instead of what you PROJECT them to have written.

    And I do stand by the fact that I expressed concern over the issue. Okay, I grant you that his name was not UNANIMOUSLY presented in the Korean fashion in the US media. But it certainly was presented overwhelmingly in the Korean fashion. Every news agency I was getting news from, like NBC, MSNBC, CNN, FOX, NY TImes, Washington Post, CBS (up until just several hours ago), AP, Reuters was reporting it that way. If the overall concern that I brought up was so ridiculous, can you tell me why CBS made the conscious decision to change the presentation of his name from “Cho Seung-hui” to “Seung Hui Cho”? Why was there even a Slate.com article about this issue? Obviously, it was a legitimate issue to some people. And I guess every one of those people is a complete idiot, right? You don’t seem to be arguing the actual substance of what I was trying to state. Do you have any respect for those who espouse opinions that you disapprove of?

    And what in the world is with your anger and venom anyway? It seems like all you do is put a negative twist on anything and everything. I guess that was more than evident in your outrageous statement that there was “prevalent celebration and schadenfreude in Korea” over 9-11.” Right. That’s why South Korea is only one of a handful of nations to actually send armed forces to Iraq? Right? Stop going off on your angry sarcastic rants based on PROJECTIONS of your own twisted worldview.

    And to everyone else, I apologize for dwelling on this, but I am not going to let someone mean-spirited and venomous like iheartblueballs intimidate and ridicule people just because they don’t subscribe to his opinions.

  • dogbertt

    I guess that was more than evident in your outrageous statement that there was “prevalent celebration and schadenfreude in Korea” over 9-11.” Right. That’s why South Korea is only one of a handful of nations to actually send armed forces to Iraq?

    With all due respect, iheartblueballs and I were actually in Korea at that time. If you were, I’d be glad to here, I’d be glad to hear your experience at that time. But if you were not here, you would not necessarily know.

    While there were individuals who expressed sympathy, there were others who expressed Schadenfreude. As a Korean yourself, you may know that there is some resentment in segments of the population against America, for various reasons. Some Koreans, just as some Europeans, after the immediate shock of 9/11 wore off, felt that the United States deserved what happened and expressed that feeling.

    Your note that Korea sent a large force of troops to Iraq does not support your counter-argument logically. Korea sent troops not because there was a massive groundswell to do so, but because the Korean government decided to send them, in a calculated political move. As it was, it was hotly debated in the Korean legislature and was far from a unanimous decision. It was widely unpopular among Koreans themselves. In any event, the Korean troops did not see combat and will soon all be withdrawn, having already been reduced.

  • bluetranslator

    Dogbertt,

    I did spend a total of three months in the 5 month period immediately following 9-11. That may or may not be enough to qualify me as a judge of the prevaling sentiment in Korea, but I will tell you what I sensed. Do remember that I, as an ethnic Korean who speaks the language fluently, was able to get a cross-section of views. Also, please take into account the fact that different people can have different peceptions of same accounts. Just watch Rashomon by the famed Japanese director Akira Kurosawa. Our perceptions, by definition, are subjective.

    For the most part, what I sensed from the people of Korea was a sense of shock and tragedy for the victims and Americans in general, but some noticeably hostile attitudes towards the POLICIES of the US government. This is a profound difference.

    What I objected to was iheartblueballs’ consistently vicious and negative attitudes towards all things Korean. Schadenfreude is basically a fancy word meaning that one is getting jollies off someone else’s suffering. To say that this was the PREVALENT feeling on the part of Korea as a nation… please. If you’re going to make an accusation like that, you better have some tangible proof.

    And as for the Korean presence in Iraq, I never used the word “large” to describe it, you did. But whatever the number of the Korean presence in Iraq may be, besides the US, it has been UNDENIABLY THE SECOND LARGEST PRESENCE after Britain. Sure, the Korean public was divided on this issue. But this is how a democracy (even one as flawed as the one in Korea) works. There was a debate in the Assembly, and troops were indeed deployed. Politically motivated? Perhaps. But do not discount the fact that it is the SECOND most support the US received out of all the nations of the world. I just demand biased people like iheartblueballs to accept as fact what is fact.

    Ever since its inception, as a nation, South Korea has been damn near the most stalwart ally of the US there has ever been. It’s called walking the walk, and talking the talk, and South Korea, more than damn near all the other so called allies of the US, has been there. You can discount the Korean support if you’d like, but it is damn near about the most support the US has received, so you discount it at your own risk.

  • slim

    NPR just addressed the differing media renderings of Cho’s name, describing CSH as the usage in Korea and SHC and saying that Cho used both. The NPR report also noted that there was much confusion over this. News agencies have styleguides to avoid confusion. I have seen serious American journalists refer to the leader of China as Mr Jintao and US Congressmen, including a subcommittee chairman who should have known better, refer to Kim Jong-il on second reference as Mr Il.

    Someone long ago on this thread said calling Cho CSH exoticised him and several Korean professors have been quoted in a similar vein. This is a completely bat-shit, fan-death ridiculous line of reasoning and should have been nipped in the bud 72 hours ago.

  • Sonagi

    A Korean classmate of Cho’s in Fairfax shares his recollection of Cho:

    “It’s nonsense that Seung was a loner,” Kim Gyeong-won, a 23-year-old senior at Kyung Hee University in Seoul, said yesterday as he talked about his childhood friend Cho Seung-hui.
    Kim, who was friends for three years with the boy they used to call “Seung,” described Cho as an athletic student who was good at math and English. Cho was shy and reserved, but tall and a good dresser who was popular with the girls, Kim recalled.

    Read the entire article here:
    http://joongangdaily.joins.com/article/view.asp?aid=2874668

  • slim

    correction: NPR just addressed the differing media renderings of Cho’s name, describing CSH as the usage in Korea and SHC AS AN AMERICANIED VERSION and saying that Cho used both.

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  • seouldout

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  • SomeguyinKorea

    “If they would have used the guns instead of the gas the outcome would have been completely different!”
    No, it wouldn’t. The building would have been intact.

    “A Korean classmate of Cho’s in Fairfax shares his recollection of Cho:

    “It’s nonsense that Seung was a loner,” Kim Gyeong-won, a 23-year-old senior at Kyung Hee University in Seoul, said yesterday as he talked about his childhood friend Cho Seung-hui.
    Kim, who was friends for three years with the boy they used to call “Seung,” described Cho as an athletic student who was good at math and English. Cho was shy and reserved, but tall and a good dresser who was popular with the girls, Kim recalled.

    Read the entire article here:
    http://joongangdaily.joins.com/article/view.asp?aid=2874668

    Yeah, and Hitler once was this cute little young boy.

    http://www.calvin.edu/academic/cas/gpa/images/uah/uah6b.jpg

    I’m sure he probably was a good friend to him when they were kids, but the fact remains that people change as they grow up, even more so if they become mentally ill in the process.

  • SomeguyinKorea

    “No, it wouldn’t. The building would have been intact.”

    Well, thanks to my inability to cut and paste properly while editing my posts, that little quip didn’t turn out the way I meant it to.
    Change ‘No, it wouldn’t’ to ‘Yeah’ or add a ‘but’ at the beginning of the second sentence. Take your pick, it really doesn’t matter anymore.

  • SomeguyinKorea

    By the way, Nomad has linked to an article that sheds light on Cho’s state of mind, which is more than I can say about the Joongnang article linked above.

    http://www.lostnomad.org/2007/04/20/cho-was-autistic/

  • Sonagi

    I am skeptical about the autism angle for two reasons:

    1. Was the boy clinically diagnosed as autistic? If so, federal and state education regulations would have mandated special education services.

    2. I’ve not heard of any link between autism and violent rampages.

    3. The autistic children I’ve observed in the schools where I’ve worked do not behave in the ways described by those who knew Cho.

  • Sonagi

    What the Joins article and the autism story have in common is that everyone who knew Cho seems to be coming out of the woodwork to share in the 15 minutes of fame.

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  • SomeguyinKorea

    Sonagi,

    Yes, I doubt autism caused him to do this. He had other psychiatric problems on top of autism–if he was autistic at all.

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  • http://rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler

    I’ll say this once.

    If you’ve got a problem with the moderation regime, send it to marmotshole@gmail.com

    Otherwise, save it.

  • bluetranslator

    Beachwood Reporter: The [Wednesday] Papers (4/18/07) by Steve Rhodes

    Asking “When will Michael Sneed be held accountable?” for an “exclusive” report in the Chicago Sun-Times that the Virginia Tech shooter was a 25-year-old Chinese citizen with a student visa obtained in Shanghai—”none of which appears true.” Rhodes explains why the fact that “Sneed pretty much got every fact wrong” and that “national media outlets, unfamiliar with her track record, repeated those errors” is “nothing new.”

    http://www.fair.org/index.php?page=22&media_view_id=8710

    I should have posted this long ago. Within the first few breaking hours of the Virginia Tech murders, the killer was reported in the American media as a Chinese national with a student visa. Many of you in Korea may be unaware of this. Bill O’Reilly even went on air during his Fox show with this info, launching into his typical anti-immigration tirade. Now, Bill O’Reilly is not someone I myself consider to be even a legitimate journalist, but he does have the single HIGHEST RATED show of all the shows on the three major US 24-hour cable news channels.

    Now of course, this fact that the US media seemed so intent on turning this into an anti-immigration issue from the git-go raised alarms in my head. And now, the story that the killer was reported to be a fresh-off-the-boat Chinese with a student visa has been effectively buried.

    And after such a rush to judgment on the part of the US media to attribute the killings to a foreigner, it was not unreasonable for people with a critical eye to second-guess the possible motives behind the media’s odd Koreanized presentation of Cho’s name.

    Imagine the following hypothetical scenario. Say, a 23-year old ethnic American who grew up in Korea since the age of 8 went on a shooting rampage. But the initial reports by the Korean media state that the killer is an off-duty American GI! Well, because all whiteys are the same, right? And then the news personality with the highest viewership in Korea goes on air, and announces indignantly that these out-of-control US soldiers must be stopped from ruining Korean society. Then after the facts come in, the Korean media correctly identy the gunman as a 23 year-old “American national” with permanent resident status in Korea. But even though this kid, who grew up in,say Bundang, speaks Korean as his primary language and culturally speaking is essentially a Korean kid, the media curiously report his name in an “Americanized” way–even though he clearly had used his name in the standard “Koreanized” way as all Korean kids do.

    So I address this question to my white American friends in Korea–would you not at the very least be concerned with the professionalism and fairness of the Korean media at this point? That’s where I was coming from as an American of Korean decent living here.

    Of course, I know that some of you guys got the feeling that I was somehow unsympathetic to the victims and even sympathetic to Cho. Nothing could be further from the truth. As any other decent human being, I hold Cho ultimately responsible for his heinous crimes against humanity. I was just trying to address an issue I felt was being ignored.

    Or, I could just be fucking retarded, as so eloquently stated by iheartblueballs.

  • http://www.sperwerslog.com Sperwer

    So how did O’Reilly morph into “the American media”? Better check the circuits in the blue translator’s other board.

  • bluetranslator

    Debate me on the facts, please. It was reported in Chicago Sun-Times and also on Fox that the killer was a Chinese national on a student visa. How else would you describe Chicago Sun-Times, a major US newspaper, and Fox News, a major US cable news channel as anything but entities of the American media?

    Now, the relative merits of Bill O’Reilly as a journalist can be debated. In fact, I already stated that I personally don’t even consider the guy a legit journalist. But this does not change the fact that he considers himself a journalist and a sizable portion of the American populace does as well. And apparently they consider him a damn good journalist at that, as evidenced by the fact that his is the highest rated show on any of the major cable news channels, and that his books routinely top the NY Times Best Seller list.

    I know that you may have your preconceived ideas, but if you disagree, can you do so based on the relative merits of someone’s arguments rather than just launching sophomoric personal attacks?

    Here is an article about how the initial misinformation caused near-panic in China.

    http://jamesfallows.com/test/2007/04/17/virginia-tech-shooting-one-american-woman-terrifies-china/#more-205

  • Sonagi

    @bluetranslator:

    As a long-term resident of Korea, I was often disgusted by the media’s biased and sensationalist reporting of crimes involving foreigners and its underreporting crimes perpetrated by Koreans against foreigners.

    I do not watch TV period but I’ll take your word about Bill O’Reilly. As Sperwer pointed out, O’Reilly is ONE media personality, and I would add that while his show does attract many viewers, a large number of people find him detestable.

    A key difference between the Korean media and the US media is the demographics of the news staff and the viewership. If a US media organization offends a particular ethnic or religious group, they hear about it and respond. The Korean media can afford to ignore the sentiments of the foreign community since so few actually read Korean newspapers and watch Korean language news broadcasts.

    This whole name controversy is just too much. As we’ve already learned, the name was intially reported Korean-style because of a judgment of an ethnic Korean police officer. There was no conspiratorial attempt to make Cho seem really foreign, so ENOUGH ALREADY!

    Until recently, the Korean media did not use the honorific title “ssi” with foreign names. Even Korean criminals got the title after their surnames, but foreign names without a professional title like “professor” were simply written as is with no “ssi.” Even kids got “gun” and “yang” after their names, but we waeguks got nothing. Must have been some evil conspiracy by the Korean media to disrespect foreigners.

  • MrChips

    Wow, 95 deleted comments and counting…Even number 213 by the Marmot himself. How does that happen? Self-imposed virtual flagellation?

    I’ll throw my quick two cents in about the “nut” factor and then get out. Cho was not crazy. Crazy people do spontaneous things without reason, without motive, and without understanding of any consequences. Cho didn’t do that. He planned, he orchestrated, and he carried out a detailed mass murder. That doesn’t make him crazy; it makes him very, very bad. He showed a determined willingness to carry out his plan. That falls outside the boundaries of “crazy.” I believe the universal call to make him out as crazy is an internal self-defense mechanism to distinguish between him and ourselves. Rather than chalking this up to a case of chemical imbalance or misconnected wires we would be far better off taking account of our personal situations and looking to see if we are selfishly interpreting everything around us as against us. That was essentially Cho’s biggest sin: Pride – thinking the world revolved around him. That error can affect anyone; you don’t need to be crazy.

    I firmly believe every human being has the mental and emotional capability to do what he did. We are at our core selfish, perverse people. The most selfish creature in all the world is a newborn babe. Life, however, is about getting over those human flaws and teaching the virtue of benevolence and benefits of overcoming that selfishness, benefit both to ourselves and our society. Saying he’s crazy is the cheap and lazy way out. To ensure things like this don’t happen in the future we need to be honest about what constitutes crazy and what constitutes bad, or for you religious folks – evil.

    And while we’re speaking of religion, people please stop giving the devil so much credit. One of the most ironic phenomenon’s in institutional Christianity is this purported belief in the depravity of man; yet, at every turn, religious people want to blame the devil. If you’re going to be a Christian and remain consistent then stop blaming the devil!! People don’t need any help in being bad; it comes very naturally already. The first real step in Christianity is in understanding that one’s depravity is complete and fully as guilty as the devil, or Hitler or whatever other extreme case you want to relate to. Blaming the devil, then, isn’t very Christian like.

    I’ve learned from this thread that no matter how much sense you think you’ve made you probably left something out that will allow those who want to divert the thread to a personal-identity issue will willingly misinterpret what they read.

    So, I’ll only say this: I’m right, you’re wrong.

  • Sonagi

    Check out this comment on Cho from a Korean-American woman at the Metropolitician (HT to the Lost Nomad):

    http://metropolitician.blogs.com/scribblings_of_the_metrop/2007/04/the_politics_of.html#comment-67087492

  • railwaycharm

    [DELETED for one or more of the following reasons:

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  • MrChips

    Exactly Railwaycharm, those two both knew what they were doing. They were in control and cognizant of their activities. They made choices that were neither spontaneous nor without reasoned impedus. They were bad and their actions came from the belief that their world revolved around themselves. You call it crazy I call it bad.

  • ..

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  • ….

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  • railwaycharm

    [DELETED for one or more of the following reasons:

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  • slim

    Bill O’Reilly is a commentator, not a journalist. His show has about half as many viewers in a given week than Spongebob Squarepants and he is not far ahead of fake newsman Jon Stewart (who in some polls is rated more trustworthy than actual TV anchors).

    The the Chinese identity mistake should be investigated but was corrected and didn’t go far anyway. (After Korea, China was the country I most feared would be linked in any form to this shooting — for the same reasons I’ve sited above. iheartblueballs’ brutally expressed wisdom would have held had the shooter been a Chinese immigrant.)

    That hypothetical news scenario bluetranslator painted above is how news involving foreigners’ alleged crimes is ACTUALLY handled by the Korean media. If the perpetrator of a big shootout in Korea was a Korean, he would be identified as C-ssi (Mr C) while a foreigner would be named and identified by nationality and sloppy, unprofessional treatment would ensue. This is why the “projection” explanation of Korean government and media reaction to the VT case resonates so strongly with everyone who knows the situation.

    I’m not going to call anyone “fucking retarded” but I can’t suppress my concern that someone with a poor grounding in important realms of knowledge about two societies is working as a translator of materials between those societies.

    And I’m going to offer the timelessly good advice: “If you find yourself stuck in a hole, stop digging!”

  • railwaycharm

    Exactly Railwaycharm, those two both knew what they were doing. They were in control and cognizant of their activities. They made choices that were neither spontaneous nor without reasoned impedus. They were bad and their actions came from the belief that their world revolved around themselves. You call it crazy I call it bad.

    Fair enough.

  • dogbertt

    Do remember that I, as an ethnic Korean who speaks the language fluently

    I am not ethnic Korean, but I began my formal study of Korean over twenty years ago and have not looked back. I’d say also I have met countless Korean-Americans in Korea whose command of Korean was shaky in the extreme. At the level of a six-year-old, if that.

    I’m just saying that as a reminder that some of us here are not hobbled by language difficulties — not saying that’s what you’re claiming.

    Also, please take into account the fact that different people can have different peceptions of same accounts. Just watch Rashomon by the famed Japanese director Akira Kurosawa. Our perceptions, by definition, are subjective.

    Granted.

    Ever since its inception, as a nation, South Korea has been damn near the most stalwart ally of the US there has ever been. It’s called walking the walk, and talking the talk, and South Korea, more than damn near all the other so called allies of the US, has been there. You can discount the Korean support if you’d like, but it is damn near about the most support the US has received, so you discount it at your own risk.

    No, those would be the U.K., Japan, Canada, and Australia. Again, a la Rashomon, Koreans (and perhaps some Korean-Americans) overestimate Korea’s importance to the U.S.

    We saw that recently with the FTA negotiations. I recall reading an op-ed piece in the Joongang Ilbo written by a Korean temporarily in the U.S. at that time who wrote he was stunned and saddened that the U.S. media wrote virtually nothing about the KORUS FTA, in comparison with the Korean press. He could not conceive that Americans were not hanging on every detail the way Koreans were.

    Korea was a very strong ally in years past, granted. However, there has been a strong resurgence of anti-American and anti-foreign feeling in general. It pops up in the popular culture (“Fucking USA!”, the immature “Ohno dance” at the 2002 World Cup, and in places and ways too numerous to mention).

    I’m not trying to argue whether that’s good or bad …. it is Korea’s right to be xenophobic to the degree it wishes. But I do not believe we will see Americans react against Koreans in a similar fashion now.

  • railwaycharm

    Well put Dogbert. I agree with you. Americans have a greater command of emotional maturity than many of our neighbors here in Korea. Americans do not envy Korea for anything.

  • bluetranslator

    slim,

    Please read what I wrote. I’ve said more than once that I don’t consider Bill O’Reilly to be a legitimate journalist. And I’m glad that you don’t consider him one either. However,it’s not about whether or not discriminating viewers like yourself make the distinction between “journalist” and “commentator.” It’s about what the American public thinks. He has maintained that he is a journalist, and his show has the highest viewership of any show on all of the US cable news networks. That is a fact. Do you see my argument? As much as you and I would like to discount his status as a journalist, the fact remains that a sizable portion of the American populace believes that he is one. And as much I wish that my personal belief or yours triumphs that of the American public, it does not if we are going to talk about America at large.

    You assert that his show has half the viewership of Spongebob, and I don’t doubt that might be true. I actually hope that it is true. But the fact remains Bill O’Reilly in the minds of many Americans is a trusted journalist. Your or my wishing that not to be the case doesn’t make it so.

    And I have no misgivings as to how the news involving “foreigners” is treated in Korea. I won’t even make apologies for that, because as of this juncture in history, Korea as a whole is xenophobic and racist. Much more than America is. And I’ve conceded this point in many prior posts, and if you want, look over my posts in the thread about the Korean apolgies concerning the shootings. However, what I have maintained is that it is unfair to hold two societies to the same standards, because these two societies are simply not at comparable junctures when it comes to how they deal with issues of multiculturalism. Korea has been a monolithic, homogenous society since the dawn of history. Until about 20 years ago, outside of the American soliders and a small ethnic Chinese community, everyone in Korea was an ethnic Korean. The US, on the other hand, has been a multicultural society from its very inception. If I hold US to a higher standard, is it not only fair?

    And even given all that, the overall coverage of the shootings wasn’t particularly professional on the part of the US media in my opinion. The hypothetical scenario as I laid it out is HOW THINGS ACTUALLY UNFURLED IN THE USA. And I’ve provided the facts to back up my contention.

  • Fantasy

    “However, what I have maintained is that it is unfair to hold two societies to the same standards, because these two societies are simply not at comparable junctures when it comes to how they deal with issues of multiculturalism. Korea has been a monolithic, homogenous society since the dawn of history. Until about 20 years ago, outside of the American soliders and a small ethnic Chinese community, everyone in Korea was an ethnic Korean. The US, on the other hand, has been a multicultural society from its very inception. If I hold US to a higher standard, is it not only fair?”

    Bluetranslator:

    I am repeating here what I’ve already posted elsewhere but since you repeat your argument, I repeat mine, as well. You are perfectly correct in saying that not each and every standard and institution prevalent in the US can, and should, automatically be assumed to be applicable everwhere else in the world. I, as a German citizen with a British Law Degree, quite frequently was faced with the accusation that, in the opinion of many UK and US lawywers, in Germany there is no presumption of innocence because there are no juries to deliver verdicts of guilty and not guilty. I had an awfully difficult time to bring the message across that you do not necessarily need to have a jury system to uphold the presumption of innocence and to ensure a fair trial.

    Having said this, there is, however, the necessity to universally uphold some minimum standards with regard to the fair treatment of foreigners and ethnic minorities. And, judging from my own experience of almost 5 years in the ROK, these minimum requirements are still far from being met there, even for us “privileged” foreigners from Western countries (white or less white).

    Now, please do not lecture me in return that the situation is far worse elsewhere, e.g. for non-Muslims in Saudi-Arabia, for Blacks in parts of Sudan…. This may or may not be so, but it is not really of relevance to the issue…

  • Sonagi

    bluetranslator wrote:

    “And I have no misgivings as to how the news involving “foreigners” is treated in Korea. I won’t even make apologies for that, because as of this juncture in history, Korea as a whole is xenophobic and racist.”

    And how is that going to change if present and former expats are told to STFU whenever we talk about misunderstandings, stereotypes, biases, prejudices, and unjust treatment?

    Frankly, I dislike the overused and misused accusatory term “racist” and try to avoid it. People can be mistreated for many reasons – race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual preference, you name it. Racism is only one form of discrimination and I don’t see why it’s any worse than other types.

  • bluetranslator

    dogbertt,

    I appreciate the reasoned discourse.

    I probably should have done a little reflecting before I just popped out of the blue and started posting on this site. I admit that I completely underestimated the collective sense of anger and frustration that the expats feel during their stay in Korea. Please believe me when I say this, but I mitakenly thought that I had a general understanding of the level of frustrations.

    I presented very provacative and nuanced INTELLECTUAL arguments when emotions were rightfully running high. I realize now, belatedly, that it was not prudent of me as a stranger to the site to just pop in with intellectualized arguments about the presention of Cho’s name and so on. Not when the lives of 32 innocent people were involved. I struck the wrong emotional chord, and I do apologize to you and this forum at large. Mea culpa.

    The one important lesson I have learned from this is that one can never truly speak for another person’s experiences. Yes, I speak and write Korean fluently. And English as well. I’ve worked as a translator and an interpretor at the highest levels. However…

    I failed to realize that I cannot possibly surmise as to what the “foreigners” go through in their daily interations with Korean people. Sure, I have spent countless days, weeks, months, and years going out with my non-Korean friends in Korea…but what do you guys go through when you are out alone without the presence of an ethnic Korean friend such as myself? Well, the answer for me is…I do not know. I can never experience that. Not from a first-person perspective as you can.

    Conversely, the only thing I can ask of my American (or any other nationality) friends in Korea is… to understand that you cannot really put yourself in my shoes as I go through life in the States as an ethnic minority either. In fact, we’re all really in the same proverbial boat. And damn, the waters are rocky. But let’s take solace in the fact that we’re all pioneers–we all are, whether we want to be or not, trailblazing a new path of an enlightened global worldview in which people can transcend ethnic and national boundaries.

    The reason that I decided to settle down in Hawaii of all places 7 years ago was motivated by the fact that I really do not identify myself with any particular nationality or ethnicity. As evidenced by the venom and anger permeating the posts here, I felt that such identifications lead to mostly conflict. I wanted to find a place where a person would be liberated from such labels. Of course, no such place exists. But after some extensive traveling, I concluded that Hawaii was the place for me since it is the most multicultural and ethnically integrated place out of all the places I’ve visited.

    Anyway, that’s where I’m coming from.

  • Sonagi

    Is this the “nuanced INTELLECTUAL argument you were talking about, bluetranslator?

    “What I said, and I still stand by it, is that the press made an odd UNANIMOUS choice in presenting his name in a fashion that really turns him into a “foreigner”, one of them, rather than “us.” “

    I believe Slim gave you some sage advice about not digging yourself out of a hole.

  • bluetranslator

    Sonagi,

    I made an earnest effort to try to reach out to the expat community in my post. If you want to parse a little part of that, link that to an earlier post of mine–for the tone of which I’ve expressed regret–be my guest. If after reading my post (#458), you still choose to be hostile, I can’t help the situation.

    My goal in posting in these types of sites is to foster understanding among various communities. Take it or leave it. I want the “foreigners” in Korea, whether they’re in it for the short-term or the long-term, whether they’re migrant workers, English teachers, or GI’s, to be treated with respect and dignity. If you want to knitpick and ridicule or sabotage my efforts, I can’t help you. I’m tired of trying. Fuck this site.

  • Fantasy

    “My goal in posting in these types of sites is to foster understanding among various communities. Take it or leave it. I want the “foreigners” in Korea, whether they’re in it for the short-term or the long-term, whether they’re migrant workers, English teachers, or GI’s, to be treated with respect and dignity.”

    Okay, Bluetranslator, I am willing to accept that this is your real intention although it seemed different to me at first. At the risk of sounding pompous, let us jointly work towards a better understanding between people with a different racial or ethnic background, with different religions or no religion at all, or of a different gender or sexual preference. I, of course only being in a position to speak for myself, genuinely hope that you will continue posting here.

    Korea is, after all, not a bad country, but there is still room for improvement…

  • railwaycharm

    bluetranslator, you can help the situation, you can!

  • http://koreanamerican431.blogspot.com/ baduk

    The final word from Wapo,

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/04/20/AR2007042002366.html?hpid=topnews

    1) Cho had mental disease from birth.
    2) Family was too poor to do anything about it.
    3) Situation worsened in America.
    4) The college, police, professors, fellow students cannot do anything about Cho.
    5) Guns were freely available.

    Input: mental disease, poverty, gun
    Output : 32 dead.

  • railwaycharm

    Baduk, Thanks for taking the race and self-loathing out of the equation.

  • Sonagi

    This story is finally moving off the front pages, but I happened to remember another act of mass violence at school that claimed 45 lives nearly a century ago in a very little town not too far from my hometown. I believe its record as the deadliest act of violence at a US school still stands:

    http://www.crimelibrary.com/serial_killers/history/bath/cries_5.html

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bath_School_disaster

  • Sonagi

    This story is moving off the front pages, but I happened to remember that the deadliest act of school violence in US history took place nearly a century ago in a very small town near where I grew up.

    http://www.crimelibrary.com/serial_killers/history/bath/cries_5.html

  • http://koreanamerican431.blogspot.com/ baduk

    I have just heard that VT even had a small tribute for Cho included in the memorial.

    http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/N21212502.htm

    In the article,

    “I just wanted you to know that I am not mad at you. I don’t hate you,” read a note among flowers at a stone marker labeled for Cho. “I am so sorry that you could find no help or comfort.”

    I am all chocked up. America is a great country and beautiful people live here.

    God bless America.

  • http://www.law4u.net/winnie ●~*

    Yes, I agree with Baduk.
    May god bless America.
    If Cho had been in Korea, this unilateral, authoratiative, one-sided, success-biased, bigoted country, he would have been more worse than anyone can imagine. And you see many deserted people in Korea, ending in one’s own suicide at the cul-de-sac.

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